Australian Open news: Alexander Zverev wins all-German tie

Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev started his 2022 Grand Slam campaign in fine form, beating world No 87 Daniel Altmaier in the opening round of the Australian Open.

Altmaier didn’t make it easy by any stretch but the 2021 ATP Finals champion eventually wore him down and claimed a 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/1) victory under the floodlights at the Rod Laver Arena.

23-year-old Altmaier didn’t allow the world No 3 to dominate the game as he fought off three set points before Zverev ultimately took the tiebreaker, before taking the second set on his second set point just 29 minutes into the match.

The underdog wasn’t going to roll over and hand his fellow German a victory which was showcased when he broke in the third set after Zverev’s volley hit the net.

Despite it being an up and down game, with Altmaier getting sloppy and taking the scoreline to 4-4 as a result of some loose shots, he got a second wind and fought off Zverev’s three match points in the 12th game to take it to a tiebreaker.

But it wasn’t meant to be for the youngest German as the US Open finalist’s quality shone through as he went on to get five more match points and then ultimately win the match in two hours and 38 minutes.

Although he claimed the win and marches onto the second round, the 24-year-old is well aware that his performance was far from a dazzling display.

“Not much went to plan today to be honest except that I won, but that is how it is sometimes,” the Olympic gold medallist explained in his on-court interview.

“It’s the first round of hopefully a very long Grand Slam, you are not always going to play your best tennis, except if you are Roger (Federer) or Rafa (Nadal), I’m not like them.

“It was a good match for me to get into the tournament and hopefully the next round will be better.”

The deportation of the world No 1 Novak Djokovic leaves the men’s competition wide open with Zverev, Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev all in with a shot to win the first major competition of the year.

The 2020 Australian Open semi-finalist will face Aussie John Millman in the second round of the season opening Grand Slam.