The German said on court after the match it’s just nearly one year since his horrendous ankle injury against Rafael Nadal on the Court Philippe-Chatrier, so the win was extra special: “It’s been the hardest year of my life,” Zverev said.
Next up? A resurgent Grigor Dimitrov, who is into the fourth round here for a first time since 2020.
Story of the match
Tiafoe had the better start, and a break in the sixth game for the No.12 seed was consolidated to give him a 5-3 lead. Zverev crumbled in that game, however, double-faulting on set point as Tiafoe stole the set with a second break.
But Zverev, a Grand Slam runner-up at the US Open in 2020, righted himself quickly, breaking to start set two only to give that break right back. But midway through the second, the 198cm German looked more energised. He didn’t convert break points in the seventh game, but the intent was there: He was locked in.
He proved it in the second-set tiebreak, going up 5-3 and then getting a stroke of luck when a forehand was called in that TV replays later showed to be long. But the chair umpire would not answer Tiafoe’s plea to come check the mark and Zverev closed out the set with a crunching forehand winner cross-court.