Two great young players, two different tournaments. Each is the number 1 favorite in theirs. And two different stories in their first matches from Chendu, Shenzhen respectively.
Both players were protagonists in the new blockbuster event, Laver Cup, so both came a bit tired.
As I said before the match, Zverev met a really great fighter, Steve Darcis. The Davis Cup hero, who defeated the German youngster in a tight Davis Cup meeting earlier this year, had the same thing in mind. And for the most of the match it seemed that the upset is going to happen again. Sascha was going for the shots and Darcis was patiently waiting for the opportunities and kept building.
Zverev came many times attacking at the net, very unlikely for him, and was most of the times caught in the no-mans land. Darcis recorded great passing shots and successfully stayed in rallies. The Belgian is kind of slow, but he makes the most of his qualities.
In the third set it seemed that everything is going right for Steve, where he was holding a 4-1 lead and an advantage on the Next Gen Superstar’s serve. But Alexander regrouped and put up a fierce fight. This is a great sign for a youngster: he has the patience and the determination to work hard when he is not playing his best. He proved that his mental strength is sharp and shows belief that he can one day reach World number 1.
Alexander Zverev won 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5).
A total different scenario happened with Dominic Thiem in Chendu. Even though he played very well, he lacked focus in the big moments. The Austrian was making the big shots, but Guido Pella was gaining the big points.
Thiem often looked that he lacks patience and was keep searching for the lines and was missing, but only just.
This was that kind of match that you can’t believe that a certain player lost it. I was watching it and believed Thiem was winning, until I checked the score.
Not to take anything from the Argentinian. He always sought to take the ball fast, leaving Thiem with low time to react and prepare his shots. Pella also was going hard for the shots. The other thing that he also did well was having patience and return all possible balls, making the Austrian to work extra for every point.
Dominic looked out of balance and hard to find his rhythm at times. He finally went losing the match 7-6 (6), 6-4.