Alexander Zverev ups the aggression to see off Alex de Minaur, but admits ‘I need to work on serving out’

Alexander Zverev plays a shot

Alexander Zverev twice failed to serve out a set against Alex de Minaur at the Italian Open, but no harm was done in the end as he eased past the Australian.

The second seed was always ahead of De Minaur in the match after breaking in games two and six in the opening set, but the No 22 did get a break back. It was a similar story in the second set as Zverev opened up a 2-1 lead before Di Minaur drew level in game six. The German edged ahead in game 11 only to be broken again in the next game as it went to a tie-breaker.

After going up 3-1 with a mini-break, Zverev only had to hold his two serves at 5-4 to win the match, but the Australian again refused to die and broke back. However, the world No 3 wrapped up the match with a second break.

The 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) win earned him a quarter-final place against either Marin Cilic or Cristian Garin.

“My performance was better than yesterday. I managed to keep my focus,” Zverev, who finished runner-up at the Madrid Open last week, said. “Alex is a great player and he is a great returner, so losing your serve here and there can happen.

“I need to work on serving out a little more. I tried to stay aggressive. I had to hit my shots quite hard against Alex and it worked out well today.”