Zverev remains red hot, Nadal next in Paris semi-finals

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It will be Rafael Nadal vs. Alexander Zverev in the Paris semi-finals after the German took down Stan Wawrinka in straight sets on Friday night. Zverev extended his winning streak to nine matches.
  • Rolex Paris Masters, quarter-finals

  • Zverev d. Wawrinka 6-3, 7-6(1)

  • Key info: Zverev is now 18-2 since tennis returned from the coronavirus hiatus.
  • You will also learn: Wawrinka served for the second set at 5-4 but could not capitalize.
  • Why you should read this story: It is Zverev vs. Rafael Nadal next in a blockbuster semi-final battle.

Alexander Zverev extended his winning streak to nine matches when he defeated Stan Wawrinka in straight sets to reach the Rolex Paris Masters semi-finals on Friday night. The recent back-to-back Cologne champion battled back from a break down late in the second set to prevail in one hour and 25 minutes.

Service breaks left and right

Although the first-set scoreline was routine, there was nothing really straightforward about it. Zverev seized the match’s first break at 2-2 only to give it right back in the next game. Wawrinka, however, struggled on serve throughout the remainder of the set. The 35-year-old ended up losing three consecutive service games, including at 3-3 and 3-5. That handed the opening frame of play to his opponent on a silver platter.

Zverev avoids third set

Zverev had survived a three-hour thriller against Adrian Mannarino earlier, so he did not want to spend too much energy in this quarter-final. Nonetheless, it looked like the world No 7 would be pushed to another decider. Wawrinka went up by a break with a scalp of his opponent’s serve at 2-2 and the Swiss consolidated it en route to a 5-3 advantage. At 5-4, 30-0, he was on the brink of a third set. Instead, Wawrinka lost four straight points and was broken.

Two games later, a tiebreaker had to decide the set — and it wasn’t competitive. Zverev raced to a 5-0 lead and from there it was all over for Wawrinka, who managed just a single point.

The 23-year-old German is through to a semi-final showdown against Rafael Nadal. It will mark Zverev’s first-ever Paris semi-final appearance, while Nadal is ultimately bidding for his first title at this tournament. Saturday’s other match pits Daniil Medvedev against Milos Raonic.

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