Alexander Zverev continued his progress at the 2021 French Open with a fine win over Laslo Djere on Court Philippe Chatrier.
The German secured a 6-2 7-5 6-2 victory over the Serb to reach the fourth round at Roland Garros and he is well set to make a serious run at the Grand Slam.
There was some early awkwardness as the sixth seed kept Djere and umpire Carlos Ramos waiting at the net for the coin toss while he “faffed” with his bag, but eventually play got underway.
With Djere and umpire Ramos standing patiently at the net, Zverev was busy fiddling with his towel, his bag, his racket and his shoe laces in baffling fashion.
“He’s late again! What is all this faffing about?” asked an incredulous Jo Durie, on commentary for Eurosport at the time.
But Zverev was mightily impressive when play did get going and he will be a real threat on the side of the draw that is ripe for a first time Grand Slam champion to emerge.
The draw looks particularly exciting for Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev and Zverev with the trio not having to face any of the ‘Big Three’ until the final at least.
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer have all found themselves in the same part of the men’s draw in what is an intriguing prospect.
Djokovic could take on Nadal in the semi-finals in Paris in what would be a repeat from last year’s final in the postponed autumnal edition.
The three most successful players in the history of the men’s game have won 17 of the last 20 Grand Slam titles between them.