Alexander Zverev booed by crowd in ugly scenes at French Open

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Alexander Zverev, pictured here being booed by the French Open crowd in ugly scenes.
Alexander Zverev was booed by the French Open crowd in ugly scenes. Image: Stan Sport

Alexander Zverev felt the wrath of the French Open crowd after an ugly moment in his five-set win over Sebastian Baez on Wednesday.

The World No.3 survived a late fightback from the World No.36 to win in five sets, prevailing 2-6 4-6 6-1 6-2 7-5 after saving a match point.

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However the 25-year-old German said he "couldn't have played worse at the beginning."

It was the fifth year in a row that Zverev, who achieved his best result at Roland Garros when he reached the semi-finals last year, had to go through a five-setter in one of the opening two rounds.

"I lost a US Open final being two sets up and I've learned from it," Zverev said.

"He's unbelievable and he's got a bright future ahead of him."

Fans expressed their displeasure towards Zverev during the second set as the World No.3 appeared to be melting down.

After double-faulting in the opening game to hand Baez a break of serve, Zverev angrily remonstrated with his entourage in a fiery outburst.

The notoriously fickle French Open crowd weren't impressed by Zverev's actions, loudly booing and jeering the German star.

"What is going on? Wow," John McEnroe said in commentary for Eurosport.

Zverev staged an incredible comeback to advance to the third round, admitting he was already thinking about his exit when he was two sets down.

"I'm happy still being in the tournament right now," he said.

"I was planning my holiday in Monaco, where I was going to go and who I was going to go with and that relaxed me, thinking about the beach.

"You just have to find a way."

It was the third comeback from a two-set deficit in Zverev's career.

He trailed fellow German Oscar Otte in the opening round at Roland Garros in 2021 before his run to the last four.

Alexander Zverev, pictured here after beating Sebastian Baez at the French Open.
Alexander Zverev celebrates after beating Sebastian Baez at the French Open. (Photo by Antonio Borga/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal cruise at French Open

Elsewhere, Rafa Nadal produced an imperious show on Court Philippe Chatrier to secure his 300th win at grand slam level, dismantling local hope Corentin Moutet 6-3 6-1 6-4 to book his spot in the third round.

Nadal has 13 Roland Garros titles among his total of 21 majors - the highest amongst men - and despite his injury-blighted buildup to the clay-court tournament he has looked at his usual best in the first two rounds.

"Preparation hasn't been perfect so I didn't expect a perfect start to the tournament," said the Spaniard, whose preparations were hampered by a rib injury and a foot problem.

"But it has been going quite well. I am positive about the things that I did out there tonight.

"Of course, there is room to improve and I need to improve if I want to keep having chances to go deeper."

World No.1 Novak Djokovic beat Slovakia's Alex Molcan 6-2 6-3 7-6 (7-4).

On a blustery Court Suzanne Lenglen, the 35-year-old cruised through the opening two sets, breaking Molcan's serve three times without giving the Slovakian a single opportunity on his own.

In a bizarre twist, Djokovic's former long-time mentor Marian Vajda is now coaching Molcan and watched on from the stands on Wednesday.

And sixth seed Carlos Alcaraz saved a match point of his own to beat fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1 6-7 (9-7) 5-7 7-6 (7-2) 6-4.

with agencies

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