The number 4 seed on the board makes his debut at the Tokyo Olympics. On paper there is no match, but the Taiwanese has won one of two direct clashes on this surface
Alexander Zverev’s Olympics begin. The seeded number 4 of the men’s draw will begin his adventure in Tokyo 2020 by challenging Taiwanese Yen-hsun Lu, number 573 in the ATP ranking. The draw was benevolent with the German: the distance between the two in the ranking is enormous. And even the hypothetical second round is on paper widely within Zverev’s reach: whoever wins will in fact deal with one between Galan and Safwat.
Zverev is back from the round of 16 at Wimbledon, with the defeat at the hands of the Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, then eliminated in the quarterfinals by Matteo Berrettini. The German has won two titles this year: on the hard courts of Acapulco, in the final against Stefanos Tsitsipas (6-4 7-6); on the land of Madrid, just against Matteo Berrettini (6-7 6-4 6-3). In addition to the semifinal of Roland Garros, with the defeat against Tsitsipas. Zverev is now number 5 both in the ATP classification and in the race, which counts the points won in the calendar year: barring sensational surprises, the German will be able to qualify for the Finals in Turin. The opposite is true for Lu, who in 2021 won only one match on the major circuit, in Miami against Querrey, in the face of six defeats.
The numbers of this season and the positions in the standings of the two players suggest that there is no match, in this first round of the men’s draw at the Tokyo Olympics. But there is a fact that instead could indicate a possible balance: the precedents between Lu and Zverev. The two players have faced each other twice in their careers, both times on hard court, and have shared the stakes: one victory each. The Taiwanese won in Canada in 2016 (7-5 6-3), the German made it up in Miami the following year (6-0 6-3). Lu, former world number 33 (way back in 2010), won 42.1% of his career on hard courts and reached the final in Auckland in 2014, losing to John Isner. Zverev has instead won nine hardcourt titles in his career, losing five times in the final (including the US Open).
July 25 – 00:23
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