Alexander Zverev says he is happy he needed just three sets to win his second-round French Open match as it could be important in the later stages of the competition.
Zverev was tested by qualifier Roman Safiullin on Wednesday, but he showed his battling qualities to come back from being a break down in both the second and the third sets.
And that, he says, could be a massive boost for his chances of winning the tournament.
“I’m happy to be through in three sets,” Zverev said after his 7-6, 6-4, 7-6 win.
“I’m happy not to have played another five-setter. I think it’s going to be important for me during the course of this tournament. I’m looking forward to the next match.”
Zverev, particularly earlier in his career, developed something of a reputation for making hard work of matches in the earlier rounds and often needing the full five sets to get the job done.
It’s something he has improved dramatically, but he is still happy to know he has it in his locker if he needs it.
“Look, it would be nice not to have to do it every single time, but if I have to do it, it’s nice to know that I can,” he said.
“Obviously I don’t do it on purpose. I don’t go into the match and say, ‘OK, my tactic is I’m going to be a break down, I’m going to fight back and come back’. That’s not how it works.
“I’m a break down most of the time because I played unfocused games or the opponent played well.
“Today, especially last two sets, they could have gone both ways, especially the third. The second I thought I was in control more.”
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