World No. 3 Alexander Zverev beat Australian Alex de Minaur 6-3 7-6(5) to reach the quarter-finals of the Italian Open, here on Thursday. The German, who arrived in the Italian capital off the back of a run to the final at the Madrid Open, won 76 percent (31/41) of his first-serve points and recovered from squandering a break advantage in the second set to eventually triumph after one hour and 50 minutes. "My performance was better than yesterday.
I managed to keep my focus," Zverev said after the win. "Alex is a great player and he is a great returner, so losing your serve here and there can happen. I need to work on serving out a little more. I tried to stay aggressive. I had to hit my shots quite hard against Alex and it worked out well today," he added. The 25-year-old Zverev is still aiming to capture his first title of the season, but has now won six of his past seven matches and will aim to improve that record when he plays Chilean Cristian Garin or Croatian Marin Cilic in the last eight. It is the fifth time Zverev has advanced to the quarter-finals at a tour-level event in 2022.
The five-time Masters 1000 champion is making his sixth appearance in the Italian capital, with his best result at the clay-court tournament a run to the title in 2017. With his victory, Zverev now leads de Minaur 6-1 in their ATP head-to-head series, with this their first meeting on clay. The World No 22 was trying to reach the quarter-finals at a Masters 1000 event for the first time, after defeating Dusan Lajovic and Tommy Paul earlier this week.