Dimitrov was playing tennis reminiscent of his days in the Top 5 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, showing jaw-dropping shotmaking, balletic movement and expert changes of pace with his knifing backhand slice. But the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion was unable to convert two set points to take a two-set lead and paid dearly.
Zverev rallied past the former World No. 3 6-7(2), 7-6(8), 6-1, 6-1 to advance to the fourth round at Flushing Meadows. The German, who has made it to the Round of 16 in four consecutive appearances at the event, will next play sixth seed Jannik Sinner, who defeated 2016 US Open champion Stan Wawrinka in four sets earlier in the day.
This encounter was a far cry from Zverev’s 6-2, 6-2 win against Dimitrov just two weeks ago in Cincinnati. The first two sets featured some of the highest-quality tennis that has been played in the tournament so far. But once the former World No. 2 levelled the match, he seized the momentum and Dimitrov also began to falter.
Zverev ultimately took a 6-1 lead in their Lexus ATP Head2Head series after three hours and 41 minutes behind seven service breaks. The 2020 US Open finalist was solid in the most critical moments, hitting 43 winners to just 27 unforced errors.
Zverev will next try to extend his 3-1 Lexus ATP Head2Head advantage over Sinner. The pair last clashed at last year’s Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. It will be a critical match for Zverev, who currently is in eighth place in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin. Sinner is in fourth.
“Sascha is serving very, very good. Physically he is strong again,” Sinner said. “I know him maybe a little bit worse because I haven’t played against him in a pretty long time now, so it would be nice to face him.”
Source: ATP Tour