Lethargic, slow and error ridden. That describes the performance of Germany’s top guy and number 6 seed at this year’s French Open, Sasha Zverev. He came up against compatriot and qualifier Oscar Otte in the first round on Sunday. Who the hell is Oscar Otte you say? He is a doubles guy who is ranked outside the top 100 as well as for the singles. In this one he took the opening two sets off on the back of some stunning court coverage. Check out first set with Otte leading 4-3(15-15). Right from the first serve its backs to the wall stuff for Otte who leaves gaps for Zverev to exploit. His speed allows him to get to the ball after Sasha’s drop shot to win the point. Zverev turned things around in set three onwards, the key was his first serve percentage up from what it was in the earlier sets. He also turned up the speed on those serves particularly on second serve. A five set win ain’t what the doctor ordered especially this early in the tournament but hey he should be glad he came out of this one.
Aryna meanwhile took the first set by the scruff of the neck albeit late on against Croatian Ana Konjuh. Sabalenka was cranking up the speed on those serves whether first or second reaching excess of 170km/hr on them. After an error strewn first 7 games, she started finding her mark with her forehands. Ana fizzled out in the later part of the first set. Watch 5-4 with Saba at break point 40-30. She hit that serve way short and too central compared to the start of the set when she was aiming further away at the corners. Aryna looked certain to win the second in no time stamping her authority on the set to lead 5-2 with Ana looking down and out. To the Croatian’s credit she went out fighting. Watch this short at 5-2(30-15). Ana is a former juniors Aussie open Champ and showed why. Saba a little guilty of staying too far behind the baseline. The variation on the drop shot, wow. Saba closing the match in the next game although she looked upset at herself. Mark of a great player when she wins in straight sets and still feels she should have done better.