Alexander Zverev advanced to the third round of the French Open after a dominant performance to dispatch Slovakian Alex Molcan in the evening match on Philippe-Chatrier. The German, twice a semi-finalist in Paris, secured victory in straight sets, 6-4 6-2 6-1. Stream the 2023 French Open live on Eurosport and discovery+
Alexander Zverev eased into the third round of the French Open with a comprehensive straight sets win over Alex Molcan.
The German broke his opponent at the start of all three sets to set him on his way to a 6-4 6-2 6-1 victory.
Molan did he best to stay with Zverev in the first but the two-time Roland-Garros semi-finalist upped the gears in the second before dominating the third to advance.
“Today I had to play my best tennis, much better than the first round,” Zverev said on court. “I’m happy to finally be finding my form and finding my rhythm again.
“This is the perfect timing because this is the tournament you want to play, this is the tournament you want to win and I couldn’t be happier with today and in general how my tennis is at the moment.”
Putting all nightmares from last year’s horror injury on Court Philippe-Chatrier aside, Zverev came flying out of the traps in the opener to claim an instant break and consolidated with a clean hold to take an early two-game advantage. Molcan kept within touching distance of the 26-year-old and denied him a double break, displaying some brilliant tennis to get on the board.\
Known for his ridiculous backhand antics, the German troubled Molcan with his striking forehand which helped him restore his two-game cushion before the Slovakian held to close the gap again and remind Zverev he wouldn’t be in for a comfortable night.
But Zverev posted another clean hold as he rattled off his 10th and 11th winners of the match before Molcan dug deep to hold again after a tricky 28 minutes. Both players held in the remaining games as the 22nd seed edged the set with a flurry of backhands on his second set point to close out the opener in 45 minutes.
After struggling to break Molcan since the opening game, Zverev managed the feat in the first game of the second set as he made use of errors off the Molcan backhand to get it done on a third opportunity from deuce. It was much of the same story and at 4-2, Zverev broke the 25-year-old for a third time to take a strong lead before serving to love to wrap up the set.
With another early break in the third and a second shortly afterwards, Zverev was looking good for a spot in the third round. He held to take a four-game advantage and despite a glimpse of an unlikely fightback from the world No. 86, held firm to break again for victory.
He will meet Frances Tiafoe in the third round.