World No.3 Alexander Zverev’s clay-court season is off to a shaky start, losing in the second round in Marrakech.
Spaniard Jaume Munar posted a 7-6(1) 2-6 6-3 win over the top-seeded Zverev.
“Sascha is a great player and this is a magical moment for me,” Munar told ATPTour.com after recording his first top 10 win. “I’m very happy. I feel very well here and this victory means a lot to me.”
A moment @jamunar_38 will never forget ????
Munar notches his first Top 10 win in Marrakech ????
— ATP Tour (@ATP_Tour) April 11, 2019
The No.60-ranked Munar, who trains at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca, moves into his fourth ATP-level quarterfinal for the season. The 21-year-old next faces Frenchman Benoit Paire, who advanced with a 6-4 6-2 win over eighth-seeded compatriot Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
Defending champion Pablo Andujar is also into the final eight, eliminating seventh seed Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6(6) 6-4. It means fourth-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon, who won the title in 2008, is the only seeded player left in the Marrakech draw.
For Zverev, the pressure mounts after a disappointing start to his season. The reigning ATP Finals champion has a 9-5 win-loss record in tour-level tournaments so far in 2019, with only two wins from his past three events.
It leaves Zverev, who accepted a wildcard into Marrakech following early exits at Indian Wells and Miami last month, desperately needing to find form.
The 21-year-old was one of the tour’s top performers on clay last season, winning titles in Madrid and Munich, reaching the Rome final, Monte Carlo semifinals and Roland Garros quarterfinals. It means he has a lot of ranking points – over 40 per cent of his current rankings total – to defend in coming weeks.
Janko Tipsarevic’s comeback is gaining momentum, with the Serb reaching his first ATP-level quarterfinal since October 2016.
The former world No.8, who is currently ranked No.372 after undergoing two hamstring surgeries in late 2017, upset third-seeded Brit Cameron Norrie 6-3 6-4 at the American clay-court event in Houston.
.@JankoTipsarevic is lowest-ranked (No. 372) QF @mensclaycourt on record (since 1979).
+ #Tipsarevic breaks US Clay record of No. 352 Fernando Gonzalez, who won 2000 title in Orlando.
+ Also breaks Houston-only record of No. 349 @TommyHaas13, who won 2004 title at Westside.
— ATP Media Info (@ATPMediaInfo) April 11, 2019
Tipsarevic will face American Sam Querrey in the quarterfinals. The No.8 seed lost only 11 points on serve in a 6-4 6-3 win over Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
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