Grand Slam Tournament
Zverev fails in round two at the Australian Open
Alexander Zverev’s Grand Slam comeback was short: the Olympic champion loses his second round match against a lucky loser. Laura Siegemund, on the other hand, reached the third round.
Alexander Zverev congratulated his opponent fairly, packed his things and left the court with his head hanging down: The tennis Olympic champion was eliminated in the second round of the Australian Open.
The 25-year-old lost his match against the American Michael Mmoh 7: 6 (7: 1), 4: 6, 3: 6, 2: 6 and thus missed the third round of the Grand Slam for the first time since his debut in 2016 Tournament at Melbourne Park.
Only Laura Siegemund in the tournament
Only Laura Siegemund is holding up the German flag Down Under. The 34-year-old won against the number 27 seeded Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu 5: 7, 7: 5, 6: 3 and reached the third round in Melbourne for the first time in seven years. The eight other German starters had already failed at the opening hurdle.
Seven and a half months after his serious foot injury in the French Open semifinals, Zverev was far from his top form. Just like his arduous five-set win over Peruvian qualifier Juan Pablo Varillas, he showed an inconsistent performance. After a strong start he lost his rhythm and built up his initially nervous opponent with mistakes. The Australian Open semi-finalist from 2020 didn’t seem up to it physically either, repeatedly touching his rear thigh on the top left. Sometimes he looked towards his box for help.
It is the first time that Zverev has lost to a lucky loser in a Grand Slam tournament. The world number 109. Mmoh, who only got a place in the main draw after the cancellation of another player, meets the American JJ Wolf in the third round, who defeated the Argentinian Diego Schwartzman in three straight sets. “Life is crazy,” said Mmoh, who had already booked his flight back to the US.
Because Mmoh’s first round duel against Frenchman Laurent Lokoli was interrupted due to rain and only ended on Wednesday, Zverev had a day more time to regenerate than his opponent. That’s a “huge advantage,” said Davis Cup captain Michael Kohlmann.
Zverev only appeared fresher and more concentrated than his opponent at the beginning. After a splendid counterattack with the forehand at full speed, Zverev even jerked both arms up and let the audience celebrate him. But Mmoh forced Zverev into the tie-break in the first set. There the German found his rhythm back – only to lose it again.
Zverev acted too defensively in the second set, and self-confidence suffered noticeably. In the third round there was also bad luck with the opponent’s net rollers in important phases. The German number 1 tried to fight back into the match. But he couldn’t turn around.
Rafael Nadal is out longer
Spain’s tennis star Rafael Nadal, meanwhile, gave an update on his injury on social media a day after losing in the second round. The MRI scan showed that the most important muscle for hip flexion in the groin was damaged and he was out for six to eight weeks, wrote the 22-time Grand Slam tournament winner.
After the top seeded Nadal, the number two of the tournament also said goodbye in the second round: The Norwegian Casper Ruud, who was in the finals at the French Open and US Open last year, had to defeat the American Jenson Brooksby 3: 6, 5 :7, 7:6 (7:4), 2:6 beaten.