Tennis: Zverev fights back again at French Open to reach first Slam quarter-final, will play Thiem

Alexander Zverev celebrating after defeating Karen Khachanov in the French Open on June 3, 2018.
Alexander Zverev celebrating after defeating Karen Khachanov in the French Open on June 3, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - German second seed Alexander Zverev claimed his third successive comeback win at the French Open to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final on Sunday (June 3), edging Russian Karen Khachanov in five sets.

The 21-year-old played some stunning tennis in the closing stages of a dramatic 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 fourth-round victory and will next play Dominic Thiem, who reached his third successive Roland Garros quarter-final with a 6-2, 6-0, 5-7, 6-4 win over Japan's Kei Nishikori.

World No. 38 Khachanov has now lost at the last-16 stage at Roland Garros twice in a row, while Zverev ended his wait for a maiden major last-eight appearance at the 12th attempt.

"Well, I'm young, so I might as well stay on court, get some practice and entertain you guys," smiled Zverev, who is bidding to become the first German man to win the French Open since 1937.

"Me and my brother (Mischa) are guys that spend three, four hours a day in the gym, lifting heavy weights, on the treadmill. It paid off today."

The win for 24-year-old Thiem, the only man to defeat 10-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal on clay this year, was his first over the Japanese 19th seed, who had won their previous matches on grass at Halle in 2015 and on clay in Rome in 2016.