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Roland Garros: Alexander Zverev vs Marco Cecchinato preview, head-to-head & prediction | French Open 2020

Alexander Zverev
Alexander Zverev
Rudra Biswas
ANALYST
Modified 01 Oct 2020, 23:05 IST
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Match details

Fixture: Alexander Zverev vs Marco Cecchinato

Date: 2 October 2020

Tournament: Roland Garros 2020

Round: Third round (Round of 32)

Venue: Paris, France

Category: Grand Slam

Surface: Red clay

Prize money: Approx. €38,000,000

Match timing: Approx. 4 pm CEST, 7.30 pm IST

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Live telecast: USA - NBC Sports / Tennis Channel | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP

Alexander Zverev vs Marco Cecchinato preview

Alexander Zverev hits a forehand.
Alexander Zverev hits a forehand.

World No. 7 Alexander Zverev will be looking to continue his run in Paris when he takes on former semifinalist Marco Cecchinato in his third-round match at Roland Garros on Friday.

The German didn't play any claycourt tournaments leading up to the French Open, deciding to recover from the toil of his US Open campaign which saw him finishing as the runner-up.

Zverev has not played his best tennis since the tour resumption, but has shown a lot of mental fortitude to stay in matches when he is misfiring. That was the case in his first-round match against Austria's Dennis Novak, who served for the first set before the World No. 7 made a comeback to win in straight sets.

Zverev has also shown a knack for playing unnecessary five-set thrillers at Roland Garros in the past though. And he lived up to his notoriety by being stretched to five sets by France's Pierre-Hugues Herbert on Wednesday.

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Zverev showed some grit to overcome a dreadful start and 10 double faults before eventually winning a thrilling match that lasted around 4 hours.

World No. 110 Marco Cecchinato, on the other hand, has had a bit of resurgence in Paris this year.

The Italian beat 25th seed Alex de Minaur in straight sets in the first round, which was his first Slam victory since his run to the French Open semifinals in 2018. He then went one better in his second-round match, where he beat claycourt specialist Juan Ignacio Londero to reach the third round.

Cecchinato had made the semifinals two years ago, beating then-12-time Major winner Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals before losing to Dominic Thiem in the last four.

Alexander Zverev vs Marco Cecchinato head-to-head

Alexander Zverev beat Marco Cecchinato earlier this year in Melbourne.
Alexander Zverev beat Marco Cecchinato earlier this year in Melbourne.

Alexander Zverev leads Marco Cecchinato by a margin of 1-0 in the head-to-head. Their only encounter came in the first round of the Australian Open this year, where Zverev won in straight sets.

Alexander Zverev vs Marco Cecchinato prediction

Marco Cecchinato in action.
Marco Cecchinato in action.
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Alexander Zverev has the ability to hammer high, deep groundstrokes off his forehand when he is on song. But since 2018 the German has struggled to grab the initiative in the rallies, even though his sublime footwork and technique still allow him to stand his ground from the baseline.

Cecchinato plays more freely than Zverev, but that exposes him to more unforced errors than his younger opponent too. The Italian has a stunning single-handed backhand, which will be put to the test against Zverev's two-handed backhand in the crosscourt rallies.

Cecchinato also likes surprising his opponents with well-disguised drop shots. If Zverev drops the ball too short, he might find himself being given the run-around by the versatile Italian.

Prediction: Alexander Zverev to win in five sets.

Published 01 Oct 2020, 20:47 IST
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