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Australian Open: Zverev wins five-set drama and moves into quarter-finals

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Australian Open: Zverev wins five-set drama and moves into quarter-finals

Tennis Australian Open

Zverev wins five-set drama and moves into the quarter-finals

Status: 22.01.2024 | Reading time: 4 minutes

Zverev moves into the quarterfinals of the Australian Open after a nervous thriller

Alexander Zverev reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open after a thrilling thriller over five sets. The Hamburg native defeated Cameron Norrie after a four-hour show of strength and will now face tennis star Carlos Alcaraz.

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Alexander Zverev has reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. The German fought a four-hour duel with Briton Cameron Norrie. It was interrupted by a woman who threw leaflets onto the square.

After the next show of strength at the Australian Open, Alexander Zverev raised his arms in relief, and a little later he joined the audience in singing a birthday serenade for his father Alexander Senior. The Olympic tennis champion won on Monday in Melbourne against Briton Cameron Norrie 7:5, 3:6, 6:3, 4:6, 7:6 (10:3) and thus reached the Yarra for the third time in his career River the quarterfinals.

Zverev converted his first match point after 4:05 hours. In the fight for the semi-finals, Zverev will now face Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz on Wednesday. The Spaniard clearly defeated the Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic 6:4, 6:4, 6:0 and, unlike Zverev, was able to save energy.

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“In the end it’s a Grand Slam where everyone plays their best tennis. And Cameron played incredibly well today,” said Zverev after the next tough game. In the second round he only won against the Slovakian qualifier Lukas Klein in the tiebreak of the fifth set. “I’m just happy that I’m further along.” Tennis legend Boris Becker was also relieved. “I would say marathon man Sascha Zverev. Something happened to him in the fifth set, the mentality was right,” said Becker as a TV expert on Eurosport.

“Free Palestine” protest interrupts the game

Against Norrie, Zverev didn’t let himself be disturbed by a spectator protest in the middle of the third set. A woman had thrown leaflets onto the pitch from the stands behind Zverev. The woman apparently wanted to use her action to draw attention to the Middle East conflict; the pieces of paper said “Free Palestine”.

A woman throws leaflets saying “Free Palestine” onto the square

Those: dpa/Alessandra Tarantino

Two other spectators dragged the person out of the arena as no stewards intervened. The game could be continued after a few minutes. When they returned to the stadium, the two spectators received loud applause from the other visitors. Zverev briefly moved to the middle of the pitch and watched the action from there. There was initially no comment from the organizer about the campaign.

4-0 wins, 8-0 sets – Zverev’s record against Norrie before the duel at Margaret Court Arena was flawless. Nevertheless, the German number one was warned. “Of course it’s nice to go into the game with such a record. But of course I still have to take it seriously,” Zverev said before the game.

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And Zverev actually approached the encounter very focused. The sixth in the world rankings served well and initially made few mistakes. He took the serve from Norrie to make it 6:5, and after 47 minutes Zverev took the first round with the second set point.

Zverev let Norrie back into the game

Zverev continued to control events in the second set. He managed another break to make it 3-2 – Zverev had everything under control and seemed to be heading for a largely safe victory. But then Zverev suddenly became careless, played without concentration and made a few unnecessary mistakes. So he let Norrie back into the game. First the Brit managed the re-break, then he took the serve from Zverev again and a little later managed to equalize the set.

But Zverev remained calm, similar to the close second round game against Slovakian qualifier Lukas Klein. “I have grown up. “I don’t know the last time I smashed a racket,” Zverev said in the Melbourne days about his new approach on the pitch.

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And the calm initially paid off. Zverev managed an early break in the third set and the Hamburg native was now fully focused on the matter again. Even the short interruption when the score was 4:1 didn’t disrupt his rhythm. With the fourth set point he won the third period.

But like after winning the first set, Zverev had a weak phase afterwards. Norrie, known for his great fighting spirit, took advantage of this and equalized again after just over three hours. So the decision had to be made in the decision sentence. Here Zverev got off to a better start again with a quick break. But again he lacked consistency, so Norrie was able to equalize promptly.

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Zverev now played far too passively, again inexplicably standing a few meters behind the baseline and so was unable to exert any pressure. But Norrie’s nerves failed in the crucial phase. The Brit made a lot of mistakes, so Zverev saved himself into the quarter-finals.

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