French Open: Alexander Zverev comes from a set down to book spot in round two

French Open: Alexander Zverev comes from a set down to book spot in round two

Alexander Zverev defeated Pierre-Hugues Herbert in four sets en route to booking his spot in the second round.

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In the late night match on Court 17, Alexander Zverev and Pierre-Hugues Herbert met for the very first time on the main tour. Zverev came through 5-7, 6-2, 7-6(8), 7-5 to book his spot in the second round at Roland Garros. Stephane Robert, who shocked Kevin Anderson, will meet the German in their first ever encounter in round two. 

Herbert fights win set 

The opening service game for the Frenchman didn't end to well with his German opponent breaking at the first time of asking. Zverev then consolidated the break and went 2-0 up. As the set moved on, both players were continuing to hold and at 4-2 on the German's serve, Herbert fashioned his first break point chance of the set, which was saved by the 19-year old having smashed an overhead at the net.

Pierre-Hugues Herbert hits a forehand (Photo:
Pierre-Hugues Herbert hitting a forehand (Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

The world ranked 84 had another saved and ultimately on his third break point, he hit a backhand slice and broke back. In the following game, he consolidated and went ahead for the first time in the set at 4-5. Two games later with the score at 5-6, Herbert attacked the German's first serve and reached his first set point at love-40. Although Zverev saved one, it was Herbert who would break to take the first set 7-5. 

Zverev comes back to level match

The start of the second set was a carbon copy of the first with Zverev breaking the Herbert serve and consolidating immediately for 2-0. The good start continued for the German, once again breaking his French opponent. The world number 41 held serve and went up a double break. Herbert finally got on the board at 4-1, but at that point, it seemed too late. The upcoming game was crucial as to whether Herbert would get back in the set.

The Frenchman, as he had done for most of the match, attacked Zverev's serve and after consulting the umpire, the ball was deemed in landing on the line. The first break point was saved, but it wasn't to end there as Zverev had to battle to save another. Once again would Herbert fight to try and get back into the match, but the 6-foot 6-inch German youngster denied Herbert and this time held on for a comfortable 5-1 lead. Herbert would only win one more game as the German took the set 6-2 to make it a set apiece. 

German takes set on tiebreak 

With the match level at one apiece, the third would be on a knife edge. Both players held their opening service games pretty easy. The set continued to go by slowly and with both holding their own easily, there was no breakthrough and the set moved to 4-3. The eighth game would see the first break point opportunity of the set at 30-40 in favor of Herbert. However, Zverev battled to save the point and leveled at 4-4 in a lengthy service game. The upcoming game for Herbert would see the longest of the set, in which the German pushed Herbert to deuce on four occasions as he held on for 5-5.

The next two games were held by both players and the third had to be decided in the tiebreaker. Frenchman Herbert got the mini break at 3-5 and on his serve, he had the chance to close out the set. Despite not taking his third set point, Herbert still had two chances, but on the Zverev serve. The youngster held his two crucial games to save set points and a game later would see the German with one of his own, which he took and made it two sets to one. With this being the last match on court, play was suspended for the day. 

Play resumes following day, Zverev closes out match

Play resumed the next day after light interrupted their match the night before. The first five games were close ones with both players testing each other. The sixth game, however, would see Zverev with three breaks points at love-40. Herbert managed to rally his way back to deuce in the match as he stayed in touch with his German opposition making it 3-3.

Zverev reaches for a backhand shot (Photo: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
Zverev reaches for a backhand shot (Photo: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)

In the eighth game of a crucial set for Herbert, the world number 41 had another break point and again he would fail to capitalize on his opportunities and the 6 ft 2 inch Frenchman leveled once more at 4-4. With the set coming down to the wire, Zverev finally took his chance and on match point clinched the set 7-5 and the match three sets to one. 

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