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Alexander Zverev solves a difficult task at the ATP Masters in Rome against Sebastián Báez

Zverev was clearly the favorite in his first duel with world number 37, but he was booked. Báez won the Estoril ATP tournament on clay just a week and a half ago and is in excellent shape. Zverev felt this from the very beginning.

Báez scored 20-0 in his first five serving games, playing both attacking and precise. The 21-year-old played close to perfection and found himself well against the tiebreaker favorites.

Zverev started furiously, took a 6-2 lead – and then missed four balls in a row. With two exchanges won, the Hamburg player still took the lead in the set after 51 minutes.

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Bitter for the Argentine, who in the first round had a clear advantage of 40:33 on points.

The game, however, remained tight. Both players continued to be extremely stable on serve.

Báez bravely challenges Zverev

With Zverev it wasn’t a big surprise, but the way Báez acted calmly during the serve was sensational. Up to the eighth game. For the first time, Zverev managed to get one leg on the ground in the return leg. Third in the world rankings earned the top two breakballs – and hit.

With his serve, Zverev made progress after one hour and 29 minutes with the first ball. And this despite the total number of points won, he spoke for Báez with 60:59.

Zverev: “It affects the body”

“It’s not easy to get from the heights of Madrid to Roma. The pitch is fast there, slower here. Sebastián had already played three games here and fought to the end,” explained the 25-year-old after the match.

“It felt a bit like jet lag. I have to freshen up first. It’s been a busy week in Madrid with night games. It sticks to the body,” Zverev added to the microphone on “Sky”.

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