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Alexander Zverev had to dig deep in order to survive his first round at the Australian Open on Tuesday, narrowly beating lucky loser Juan Pablo Varillas in a five-set thriller.

Things were not looking good for Zverev as he trailed by two sets to one in his third match of the season.

But he threw everything he had at the Peruvian world No. 103 and came out on top 4-6, 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (3), 6-4 in a gruelling four hours and nine minutes which marked his first win of the season.

The German is currently on a comeback mission after tearing several ligaments in his right foot during the French Open in June, only returning to the Tour during last months United Cup.

The 25-year-old revealed that it does not matter what happens during the rest of the tournament as it is already a success for him, with his first win perhaps marking the end of his injury woes and indicating that the hard work is indeed paying off.

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‘’I am extremely happy because I missed this over the past seven months," Zverev said after the match.

"This match alone pays off for all the hard work and suffering that I have had. To win in front of this kind of crowd again.

‘’I can't wait for the rest of the tournament. No matter what happens from now, the tournament is already a success for me.’’

Zverev, who reached the semi-finals at the Australian Open in 2020, will now face either Michael Mmoh or Laurent Lokoli in the second round.

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