Fifth-seeded Kevin Anderson took on youngster and ATP Rising Star Alexander Zverev in the second round of the Citi Open. Anderson had a bye to the round thanks to his seeding. Zverev earned his spot in the second defeating fellow Rising Star Yoshihito Nishioka.
It was a battle of big serves with both men standing 6’6’’ and up. The German ended up on top showcasing his talents to America now after showcasing them in Europe last year. He won 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Anderson eases through opening set
The opening game found tension with the the youngster as he was broken in the opening game. An Anderson ball that was called out but later challenged and overruled didn’t sit well with the 18-year-old. He argued that the out call hindered him from making a play on the ball and his tone of voice and word choice didn’t sit too well with the chair umpire who told him to “not speak to him like that”.
After a long first service game for the South African, it was smooth sailing for the rest of the set. A break in the seventh game put him a double break up before he served out the opening set at 6-2.
Early break seals the set for the German
The young German came out firing in the second set. A love hold and then a 0-40 lead gave him three break chances. He needed all three but converted on it to get out to a 2-0 lead. The teen nearly had a fourth consecutive game on the cards with a break opportunity but failed to convert as Anderson finally got on the board.
It was relatively straightforward for both men until the teen had to serve out for the set. Anderson had break point at 30-40, but the Zverev reeled off three straight points to force a decider.
Another early break dooms Anderson
Trouble brewed once again in Anderson’s opening service game as he was broken at 15 to fall behind once again. With both men having difficulty getting into each other’s service games, the South African would need to rely on errors from Zverev and some fantastic shotmaking to get back into the match. He nearly did that forcing the teen to deuce but fell just short.
In the fourth game, Anderson finally had his first sniff at a shot to break the German since the final game of the second set. He could not capitalize on that opportunity as Zverev held for a 3-1 lead. After that, not much was done on their opponent’s serve with the German clinching the upset in the tenth game with the scoreline of 6-4 in the final set.
Both players struggled on serve with their first serve percentage just above 50 percent. However, the teen sensation was much better on first serve winning ten more points on his first serve compared to Anderson.
Even though the total first serve points was in Zverev’s favor, Anderson had more aces and less double faults. The fifth seed had eight aces and four doubles compared to five aces and eight doubles for the teen. The teen will face Alexander Dolgopolov or Ivo Karlovic in the third round.