COLOGNE: Fresh from winning the ATP tournament in Cologne last weekend, Germany’s Alexander Zverev reached the Cologne Championship quarter-finals of the second week on the Rhine with a tough, three-set triumph over John Millman of Australia on Wednesday.

Top seed Zverev, 23, ranked seventh in the world, needed nearly two hours to post a 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 victory over the 31-year-old Millman.

Zverev hit 10 double-faults but held his nerve to win his fifth straight match in Cologne after winning last week’s Cologne Indoors.

“In the first set I thought I played flawlessly, but then I wasn’t focused at the beginning of the second,” Zverev admitted. “John is someone who has beaten top players before, I thought I did a poor job serving, but got the win somehow.”

The German will meet France’s Adrian Mannarino, who beat Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic 6-3, 6-3, in Friday’s quarter-finals.

On Thursday, Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka, who saw off Britain’s Kyle Edmund on Tuesday, will play Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff for a last-eight place.

Seventh-seed Struff beat Italy’s Marco Cecchinato 6-3, 6-1 in the first round.

Cologne’s Lanxess Arena is hosting back-to-back ATP events.

Zverev defeated Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime last weekend in the final of the first event.

The 20-year-old Canadian, whose defeat to Zverev was his sixth straight defeat in an ATP final, recovered from losing the first set to seal a 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-4) second-round win over Egor Gerasimov of Belarus late on Wednesday in battle lasting a two hours, 46 minutes.

Struff earlier won his first-round match against Marco Cecchinato, 6-3, 6-1.

Also, Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina beat Steve Johnson of the United States 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 in the second round.

Published in Dawn, October 23rd, 2020