#NextGenATP Zverev Overcomes Seppi

#NextGenATP German Alexander Zverev silenced a pro-Andreas Seppi crowd on Monday with a memorable display of power and touch to oust the experienced Italian 6-1, 6-2 in 68 minutes at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.

Zverev, the No. 14 seed, saved one break point and broke three times in the 27-minute opening set under sun-kissed skies, executing a number of fine drop shot winners from the baseline. Wild card Seppi held his nerve in a 16-point service hold for 1-1 in the second set of their first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting. Zverev broke Seppi in the sixth and eighth games for his 12th match win of the year, which includes the Open Sud de France crown (d. Gasquet).

“I like playing on clay,” admitted Zverev. “It’s the surface I grew up on. You know, in Europe, you play most of the season on clay. I actually don’t know what my favourite surface is, and I don’t actually have a least favourite surface. It more depends on how I play during the time. It more depends on which form I’m in, more than the surface actually.”

When asked about how he has changed his game in the transition from hard to clay courts, the 19-year-old admitted, “Not a lot of things change. I think maybe your return position changes a little bit. Your serve variation maybe changes a little bit. But I think from the back, a lot of players play [a] similar style.

World No. 20 Zverev, who leads the Emirates ATP Race To Milan, goes on to face Feliciano Lopez or fellow #NextGenATP and Aircel Chennai Open finalist Daniil Medvedev in the second round.

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Elsewhere, 22-year-old Kyle Edmund won an all-British battle against Daniel Evans 7-5, 6-1 in 80 minutes on Court des Princes. Edmund will next challenge fourth seed and nine-time champion Rafael Nadal, who has a 58-4 record at the event.

“It’s a good opportunity for me,” said Edmund. “I’ve never played Rafa. I mean, this tournament, as well, is such a successful tournament for him, winning nine times. He obviously loves playing her [and is] very comfortable conditions. So, for me, it will be a great opportunity. I played Novak [Djokovic] three times, Andy [Murray] twice, [Stan] Wawrinka, [Milos] Raonic. It’s another Top 10 opportunity for me. I like the clay. I’ve been getting better on it over the past few days.”

World No. 1 Andy Murray, Grigor Dimitrov and coach Dani Vallverdu watched the encounter from a nearby balcony.

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