Will Sascha beat the clay court specialist?

Alexander Zverev punched his ticket to the quarter-finals of the French Open with a remarkably emphatic 3-0 win in just two hours and 19 minutes against Altmaier vanquisher Grigor Dimitrov. This is the fifth time in six years that the German has reached the top eight on the red clay of Roland Garros. Now, too, with Alexander Zverev against Tomás Martín Etcheverry, betting on the Hamburg player advancing seems to be the more sustainable choice.

Although the Argentine did remarkably well in the course of the French Open. The 23-year-old remained entirely without a set loss on the way to his first-ever quarter-final at a Grand Slam. In the run-up to Roland Garros, however, the world number 49 only reached the second round once at the Australian Open 2023 and otherwise always failed in his opening match. So there is not much to suggest that Alexander Zverev’s prediction of a continuation of Argentina’s French Open fairytale against Tomás Martín Etcheverry will come true.

In particular, the way Alexander Zverev dominated his round of 16 match, in which he scored on 78% of all first serves and also showed immense nerve, defending 88% of all break points (14 out of 16), clearly speaks in favour of the German, who in turn also completely dismissed the Bulgarian former world champion’s serve. Seven of Dimitrov’s 13 service games went to Sascha.

The Argentinean clay court specialist will certainly challenge the Hamburg player. Nevertheless, we believe that another clear victory for Alexander Zverev will emerge in the end. We are therefore betting on the German with a handicap of -5.5 games.

Alexander Zverev – Statistics & current form

Current world ranking: 27
Position in the seedings: 22

The 26-year-old German Alexander Zverev seems to be back to his old self exactly one year after his terrible injury. For seven months, the knee injury he suffered against Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of the 2022 French Open forced him to take a break.

The Hamburg player’s return to the ATP Tour was also anything but smooth. In the run-up to the only Grand Slam tournament played on clay, Sascha won just 16 of his 30 singles matches in the 2023 season. At the Australian Open, for example, he was already finished in round two.

Won 27 of 34 singles matches at the French Open

However, his form is as good as restored in time for the French Open, where the German is now on 27 wins from 34 completed singles matches. Only in the third round against Frances Tiafoe did the Hamburg player drop a set. Most recently, he defeated former world champion Grigor Dimitrov 3:0 (6:1, 6:4 and 6:3).

Accordingly, the Hamburg player is now also favoured in the quarter-finals, which he has reached in Roland Garros for the fifth time in six years. When it comes to Alexander Zverev against Tomás Martín Etcheverry, the odds are clearly in favour of the 26-year-old.

14 of 16 break points fended off in round of 16

The diabetic’s nerves of steel were also impressive, as he briefly clashed with the chair umpire in the last 16 because he had to take an insulin injection in the catacombs. Something Sascha normally does on the bench on the ATP Tour, but which he was forbidden to do on court at Roland Garros.

This did not, however, open up a disturbing sideshow. Although Grigor Dimitrov certainly got into the return game on the red clay and had chances, Alexander Zverev fended off 88% of all his opponent’s break points – 14 out of 16 – as part of a concentrated performance. The Hamburg player’s service game thus went through in eleven out of 13 cases, which, in conjunction with the 54% of return games won (seven out of 13), paved the way for him to reach the quarter-finals.

Tomás Martín Etcheverry – Statistics & current form

Current world ranking: 49
Position in the seedings: unseeded

The 23-year-old Argentine Tomás Martín Etcheverry has been competing as a professional on the ATP Tour since 2018, but then as now he played mostly tournaments on the ITF Future Tour as well as the ATP Challenger Tour.

Just last week, the man from La Plata was back on the road in a small Challenger Tour tournament in Bordeaux following his 2-0 loss to Novak Djokovic at the Italian Open. In the final, however, Echeverry lost 0:2 to Ugo Humbert (ATP 50).

The first tournament win is only a matter of time

After five years under the radar, the 2023 season can nevertheless already be described as a breakthrough year for the Argentine. The clay-court specialist has already reached the final twice at small ATP Tour 250 tournaments. Both in Santiago (1:2 against Nicolas Jarry) and in Houston (0:2 against Francis Tiafoe), however, he lost out in the final.

With his four wins at Roland Garros, Etcheverry already has 19 wins from 31 rated singles matches on the ATP Tour in 2023. He is already assured of a jump to 31st place in the ATP world rankings. With this new career high, he could theoretically be on the seed list at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time as early as Wimbledon.

Without losing a set into the quarter-finals

It should be noted, however, that the Argentinian upstart has not only not had to overcome any major obstacles in the course of the tournament at the French Open, but has also only reached the second round once before Roland Garros at the Australian Open 2023.

Accordingly, it is hard to imagine that Alexander Zverev’s bet on the 23-year-old advancing against Tomás Martín Etcheverry will work out, although he has stormed into the quarter-finals without losing a set. Most recently, he dispatched Yoshihito Nishioka (ATP 33) 3-0 in two hours and four minutes in the last 16, impressing with a 47% return rate that saw him take six of the Japanese player’s twelve service games.

Alexander Zverev – Tomás Martín Etcheverry Direct comparison / H2H record

Head to head: 0:0

Never before has there been a rated single match between the two athletes. There is therefore no “head to head” data available yet that could be used in the forecast for Alexander Zverev against Tomás Martín Etcheverry.

Alexander Zverev – Tomás Martín Etcheverry Tip

It’s a bit of a David versus Goliath situation when Alexander Zverev, a man who has now reached the quarter-finals of the French Open for the fifth time in six years and even beat superstar Carlos Alcaraz here a year ago, meets an Argentinian upstart who has yet to achieve any resounding successes in his career. In the run-up to Roland Garros, Tomás Martín Etcheverry’s Grand Slam record stood at just one win against five losses.

It has to be said that the Argentine clay court specialist stormed into this quarter-final without losing a set. However, he did not have to get rid of the really tough ones. We therefore suspect that a Zverev in normal form will be a bit too big for him.

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