Slowly, match after match, Alexander Zverev is erasing the awful memory of his ankle hiding during his semi-final against Rafael Nadal last year and forcing him to retire, then to long months away from the circuit. In any case, here he is again in the semi-finals, for the third consecutive time, at Roland-Garros.
Accustomed to cool matches, after three nights, the German found conditions that he appreciates more with, in particular, a faster ball. It remained to be seen how he was going to manage the temperature difference with a small 29° announced for Paris. We had the answer quickly, mobile and regular, it was running at full speed.
Zverev relaxes, Etcheverry takes advantage
Tomas Martin Etcheverry made the mistake of playing the diagonals too much, especially on the backhand. At this little game, Zverev is formidable. Diagonals in rhythm, he eats them at all breakfasts. In mastery in the rallies, he broke to break away 4-3, then 5-3, saving two break points in the process. The end of the set could not escape him.
He seemed to have got his hands on the match, padlocking all the rallies, but Etcheverry, determined as if starved to death, rushed into the slightest fault. A bad volley from Zverev and the Argentinian dropped a ping penalty to make the break (4-2). Zverev then took advantage of a poor service game from his opponent to make a break almost against the run of play. took the second set.
A fight until the end
Recovered like never before, the Argentinian broke immediately in the third set. He was hot as embers. Maybe a little too much, even. In overspeed, since the start of the match, he had a big pump against a Zverev who had tightened the game to the point of aligning five games in rows. Etcheverry struggled in returns and couldn’t do anything to stop Zverev from going ahead to win the third set.
The fight remained at high altitude in the fourth. Zverev had understood that every drop in speed would backfire, so he continued to be aggressive, even if it meant being punished by attempting serves and volleys on the second ball. But it was he who was in charge and it was he who broke (4-3). And it is he who finds himself in the semi-finals, facing the winner of the match between Casper Ruud and Holger Rune.