French Open: Alexander Zverev pulls through thrilling contest against Damir Dzumhur

The German was two sets to one down, was a game from losing in the fourth set, and was match point down in the fifth, but prevailed to record his first win over a top 50 player at a Grand Slam tournament.

Alexander Zverev
3 2
Damir Dzumhur

World number three Alexander Zverev came through other five-set encounter to reach the fourth round at the French Open on Friday, with the German saving a match point to beat 26th seed Damir Dzumhur in one of the matches of the tournament so far.

It seemed that Zverev would ease through as he led by a set and a break within an hour, holding a point for a double break, though Dzumhur sensationally turned the match around and served for the match in the fourth set, only to Zverev to win a tiebreak. Dzumhur came from a break down in the decider to hold a match point, though the second seed held firm and eventually prevailed 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6(3), 7-5 in three hours and 54 minutes on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Zverev in action during his third round win (Getty/Matthew Stockman)
Zverev in action during his third round win (Getty/Matthew Stockman)

Zverev prevails by the skin of his teeth against Dzumhur

Zverev, who had never won a match against a top 50 player at a Grand Slam tournament before today, had already come through a huge scare in his previous match, rallying from two sets to one down to beat Dusan Lajovic, and had to do the same again today.

Early on, it seemed that things would be incredibly straightforward for Zverev. The German broke Dzumhur early on in the match to start the first set well, and broke for a second time to love a few games later at 4-2, eventually holding comfortably to win the first set after just 25 minutes of action.

Dzumhur came agonizingly close to victory, but eventually fell (Getty/Matthew Stockman)
Dzumhur came agonizingly close to victory, but eventually fell (Getty/Matthew Stockman)

Zverev continued to motor, racing to a 3-1 lead in the second, and it seemed that Dzumhur could do little to stop the second seed, with the Bosnian facing a point to fall a double break down. However, the 26th seed was able to save that, and all of a sudden took control, breaking down his opponent to win the next five games to level up proceedings

Dzumhur continued his momentum from the second set early on in the third, breaking early, though as Zverev broke straight back it seemed that the German was getting back into things. However, it was the Bosnian who continued to look the bigger threat, and after he broke to love at 4-4, calmly served out the first set to edge nearer to victory.

Dzumhur and Zverev embrace following the thrilling encounter (Getty/Matthew Stockman)
Dzumhur and Zverev embrace following the thrilling encounter (Getty/Matthew Stockman)

There was no doubt that Zverev was in huge trouble, and it seemed he could be facing another early exit at a slam as Dzumhur broke for a 4-2 lead. The German, however, was able to break straight back, though wobbled later on, allowing Dzumhur to serve for the match at 6-5 in the fourth. It was Dzumhur’s turn to wobble, with the German breaking to love and controlling the tiebreak to take us to a decider.

After a trade of breaks to start the decider, it seemed that Zverev was finally closing in on victory as he built a 4-2 lead. Dzumhur, however, rallied off three games in a row, and forced a match point as Zverev served to stay in the encounter. The Bosnian was unable to take his opportunity, and Zverev then held and broke to serve for the match, making no mistakes to seal a huge victory.