Alexander Zverev closed out 10 hours of play on Tuesday at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters with around 200 fans clustered around Court Rainier III wrapped in warm jackets or with towels and rugs over their legs.
Under the floodlights, well after the day-high temperature of 22°C had plummeted, Zverev found his rhythm towards the end of the second set in a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 second-round victory over Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller that ended at 8:46 p.m. local time.
All four matches scheduled on the Monte-Carlo Country Club’s main show court, beginning at 11 a.m., went to three sets on Tuesday, including victories for Dominic Thiem (saved 1 M.P. vs. Rublev), Grigor Dimitrov (d. Herbert) and Mischa Zverev (d. Pouille).
Concentration lapses hindered the younger Zverev brother in the first set, but service breaks in the first and ninth games of the second set gave the German, who turns 21 on Friday, the momentum. From a 4-3 advantage in the second set, third seed Zverev won five straight games to lead 3-0 in the decider against Muller, who hit his fourth double fault to end the two-hour, three-minute match.
Zverev, who won 34 of his 41 first-service points (83 per cent) to improve to a 15-6 match record on the year, will now prepare for a meeting on Thursday against No. 13 seed Fabio Fognini of Italy or Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.
Fognini, who reached the 2013 Monte-Carlo semi-finals (l. to Djokovic), recovered from a 2-5 deficit in the second set to beat qualifier Ilya Ivashka of Belarus 6-4, 7-5 for his 299th match win. The Italian now challenges Struff, a 6-3, 6-2 victor over Yuichi Sugita of Japan.
Defending Doubles Champion Advances
In the only doubles match of the day, defending Monte-Carlo doubles champion Rohan Bopanna (w/Cuevas) and partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin ousted Dubai finalist Jamie Cerretani and partner Andreas Seppi 6-1, 7-5. The Indian-French pair broke on four occasions to advance to the second round, where they will face No. 7 seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares.
Did You Know?
Zverev had lost his only previous FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting against Muller last year in 's-Hertogenbosch.