Zverev Passes Sonego Test

German Alexander Zverev passed a tough test with flying colours on Wednesday, defeating Italian Lorenzo Sonego 6-3, 6-3 to reach the third round of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.

Sonego entered the pair’s first ATP Head2Head clash with plenty of confidence after winning the Sardegna Open title last week to climb to a career-high No. 28 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. But Zverev put pressure on the 25-year-old from the early going to advance after one hour and 38 minutes.

“Lorenzo just won a tournament, so he is obviously in very good form right now and playing good tennis. The first match on a clay court is never easy, but I am happy to be through like that,” said Zverev in his post-match interview.

The three-time ATP Masters 1000 champion, who reached the Monte-Carlo semi-finals in 2018, now has 10 victories this season. Zverev claimed a title for the sixth consecutive year when he lifted the trophy in Acapulco.

Although it wasn’t a perfect performance — the fifth seed relinquished two service breaks — Zverev did well to frustrate his Italian opponent. The 23-year-old put many returns deep in the court to neutralise Sonego’s advantage and ability to play first-strike tennis, forcing the Italian to go for more than he wanted. That led to unforced errors, giving Zverev the advantage in the match.

The World No. 6 will next play David Goffin, who cruised past 2018 Roland Garros semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato 6-4, 6-0 in 64 minutes.

Zverev leads the pair’s ATP Head2Head series 2-1, but all three of those matches have gone to a deciding set. Their most recent clash came in Halle two years ago on grass.

“[Goffin] is extremely difficult to beat, especially during the first few matches on clay,” said Zverev. “I think he feels extremely comfortable on this surface, so it is going to be interesting to see how that goes. Every time we have played [it has been] three sets. I am expecting a very difficult match.”

Our partners