Mixed emotions for Zverev brothers in Rotterdam
Alexander Zverev spoiled David Ferrer's return to the Rotterdam Open on Monday with a comfortable 6-4 6-3 victory over the Spaniard.
Ferrer had never lost to the 20-year-old in their two previous meetings but the third seed – who reached the quarter-finals in 2016 – quickly put that right, winning in 86 minutes.
So dominant was Zverev that he raced into a 4-1 lead as Ferrer, playing in Rotterdam for the first time since 2011, struggled to hold his own serve, while also wasting six break points on his opponent's.
To bookend the match nicely Ferrer also finished with a slump, losing four in a row as Zverev cruised into round two and a meeting with Andreas Seppi - who beat Joao Sousa 6-4 1-6 6-2.
"It was good, David is not easy to play against, it is unusual for a top-10 player to play someone like him in the first round," said Zverev. "But this is a very tough week.
"I was trying a little bit more variation in my game, that's what I'm working for. I want to make my game a bit more than one-dimensional.
"A lot worked, some didn't, but all in all I'm happy with a first round like that."
Tomas Berdych made it 18 wins from his last 22 matches in Rotterdam with a 7-5 6-3 win over Zverev's older brother Mischa.
After a shaky start the 2014 winner served superbly, winning 82 per cent of his first serve points and turned around a 5-3 deficit in the opening set.
Monday's remaining match saw 2016 champion Martin Klizan beaten by Feliciano Lopez, the Spaniard winning 6-3 7-6 (7-4).