Alexander Zverev survives French Open scrap to make progress
Last Updated: 28/05/19 4:30pm
Fifth seed Alexander Zverev survived a huge scrap to beat John Millman while Juan Martin del Potro powered through to the second round of the French Open.
Zverev, who has long been touted as a future Grand Slam champion, beat Australian Millman 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 2-6 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 on Court Philippe Chatrier.
The 22-year-old German had a series of long matches before running out of gas in the quarter-finals here last year, and it took him four hours and eight minutes to battle past Millman in the longest match of the tournament so far.
Zverev has had a disappointing season but won his first title of the year in Geneva on the eve of the tournament.
Del Potro fired up his power game after a sluggish start to ease past Nicolas Jarry in an all-South American first-round clash.
The eighth seed, a semi-finalist last year, won 3-6 6-2 6-1 6-4, the four sets taking a little more than four hours.
"I'm just happy to be playing tennis again and to be in Paris after all my injuries," said Del Potro who is back playing Grand Slam tennis for the first time since fracturing his right knee last year. "I have great memories here.
"This tournament means a lot to the Argentine players and the fans. I'm excited to keep winning."
Italian Fabio Fognini, one of the players tipped to do well in Paris after defeating Rafa Nadal en route to the Monte Carlo title last month, beat compatriot and doubles partner Andreas Seppi 6-3 6-0 3-6 6-3.
Croatia's Ivo Karlovic became the first man in his 40s to compete in a Grand Slam singles match for 27 years when he beat fellow veteran Feliciano Lopez.
Did you know...
Big Ivo becomes the oldest player to win a Grand Slam singles match since Ken Rosewall (44) at the 1978 Australian Open.
Karlovic, who turned 40 in February, won 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 6-7 (7-9) 7-5 against the 37-year-old Spaniard in the oldest French Open men's match-up in terms of combined ages in the professional era.
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