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US Open 2020: Alexander Zverev vs Kevin Anderson preview, head-to-head & prediction

Alexander Zverev at 2020 W&S Open
Alexander Zverev at 2020 W&S Open
Rudra Biswas
ANALYST
Modified 30 Aug 2020, 23:42 IST
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Match details

Fixture: Alexander Zverev vs Kevin Anderson

Date: 31 August 2020

Tournament: US Open 2020

Round: Round One (Round of 128)

Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York, USA

Category: Grand Slam

Surface: Outdoor hardcourt

Prize money: $39,024,000

Match timing: Not before 3 pm EDT, 12:30 am IST

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Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN | India - Star Sports / Hotstar

Alexander Zverev vs Kevin Anderson preview

Kevin Anderson has gained some confidence during last fortnight
Kevin Anderson has gained some confidence during last fortnight

World No.7 Alexander Zverev will try to repeat his Australian Open success earlier this year when he takes on 2-time Slam finalist Kevin Anderson in the first round of the 2020 US Open.

Alexander Zverev began his year in the worst fashion, losing all his matches at the ATP Cup in what would have been a moral-sapping tournament for the young German.

Zverev got over the ATP Cup in no time though, as he managed to stun everyone with a semifinal appearance at 2020 Australian Open. Alexander Zverev looked like a changed man at Melbourne with a more solid forehand, but the German could not vindicate himself further during the year as the whole tour was suspended amid a global health pandemic.

Alexander Zverev would then end up going through a controversial lockdown period, but only for his off-court shenanigans. On the court, Alexander Zverev continued to show reform in his game with a meaner, more aggressive swing at Adria Tennis Tour and Ultimate Tennis Showdown 2.

The former World No.3, whose nickname is "Sascha", began his post-lockdown campaign at 2020 Western & Southern Open where he lost to 3-time Major winner Andy Murray in three sets; having served for the match in the deciding set but failing to take his chances.

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Kevin Anderson, on the other hand, had had a demoralizing Tour campaign this year prior to the lockdown. The big-serving South African, who was forced to end his 2019 season early after an injury at Wimbledon, crashed out early at Australian Open and saw his serve subjugated in a disappointing loss to Taipei's Jason Jung on the indoor hardcourts at New York Open.

Playing his first competitive match in over six months after that, the World No.124 exceeded expectations with a solid three-set win over Kyle Edmund in his opening round match at Cincinnati. The former World No.5 was beaten comprehensively in the next round, but will have plenty of positives to take into the 2020 US Open.

Alexander Zverev vs Kevin Anderson head-to-head

Alexander Zverev beat Kevin Anderson to seal the 2018 Laver Cup for Team Europe
Alexander Zverev beat Kevin Anderson to seal the 2018 Laver Cup for Team Europe

Alexander Zverev leads Kevin Anderson in their head-to-head meetings by a margin of 5-0 which clearly suggests that the German enjoys this match-up.

The pair last met at 2018 Laver Cup where Zverev pulled out all stops in an entertaining, close match to beat the towering Anderson in three sets. Zverev has also beat Kevin Anderson at Montreal and Rome and clearly finds his rhythm against the South African.

Alexander Zverev vs Kevin Anderson prediction

Kevin Anderson is on the comeback road again
Kevin Anderson is on the comeback road again
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Kevin Anderson had really raised his level and enjoyed unexpected success at the top level of the game in 2017 & 2018 when he reached Slam finals at US Open & Wimbledon. But due to an untimely injury, Anderson stayed out of action for the entire 2019 season and failed to defend his points.

Nevertheless, Anderson is on his way back and will have to go through the World No.7 at his most successful Slam. Zverev had enjoyed similar woes as Anderson last year, failing to make his mark last year after having won a handful of Masters 1000 titles along with good results on all surfaces.

The German has tried to change his wasteful ways by hiring veteran David Ferrer as his new coach who has helped him improve his forehand. But the second serve niggles have not been fixed yet as suggested by Zverev's 10 double faults in his second round match at Cincinnati last week.

Despite suffering from the yips on the second serve, Zverev has still been firing on all cylinders when it comes to his first serve and groundstrokes though he might want some consistency if he aims to get the better of the South African in their first-round clash.

Prediction: Alexander Zverev in four close sets.

Published 30 Aug 2020, 23:42 IST
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