Having come through an opener in which Roberto Carballés had him against the ropes, Alexander Zverev was close to his best on Sunday, when he produced the type of tennis that won him two Mutua Madrid Open titles (2018, 2021), as well as a runner-up trophy last year.
The German never gave French player Hugo Grenier a chance in the Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario Stadium as he barrelled his way to a 6-1, 6-0 victory in 56 minutes. Zverev now finds himself one step away from the quarter-finals, the round he has reached in all of his last five participations in the Caja Mágica.
“For sure I mean, I needed first serves. I think today I felt great and maybe Grenier was a bit nervous because he was playing for the first time in a third round Masters 1000 match and it’s too big for any player. But in general I’m happy to be through”, he explained after the match.
The ex-world No. 2’s victory over the French qualifier in the Madrid Masters 1000 was his 21st in the 24 matches at the event. The German can also now boast a positive return from his 2023 encounters (12-11).
Zverev now awaits his opponent in the fourth round in the Spanish capital, who will come from the first clash of Sunday’s night session, where the defending champion and hot favourite for the crown Carlos Alcaraz will take on Bulgarian player Grigor Dimitrov. If the Spaniard prevails, his next match will therefore be a repeat of last year’s final.
“The best preparation is to win matches in straight sets. I think both opponents are great players and it’s going to be a really difficult test, no matter which of them it is. Of course, with Alcaraz I think it will be the match everybody is looking for because it was last year’s final and the match I won before my injury in the French Open. I am definitely looking forward to that challenge”, he concluded.