Tennis young gun Alexander Zverev has scared the absolute daylight out of a young ball boy at the Shanghai Open.
Despite suffering from a cold, the fourth-seeded German produced a hard-fought win over Nicoloz Basilashvili – and he didn’t hide his joy.
After claiming a vital point over Basilashvili, Zverev let out an emotional shriek followed by an aggressive fist pump, leaving the ball boy flinching in fear.
Zverev’s opponent arrived in Shanghai after beating del Potro in Beijing to win his second career title.
“I played an opponent who has a lot of confidence,” Zverev said.
“Obviously he’s playing the best tennis of his life, winning in Beijing, and obviously he had a very good match yesterday, as well.
“He knows how to play, definitely. Probably the hardest-hitting player I have ever played against.”
The victory has set up a tasty third round encounter with Alex de Minaur.
The Australian eased to a 6-4 6-3 win over Frenchman Benoit Paire as his late season run gains momentum.
Already at a career high No.33 in the world, the 19 year-old is eyeing off more rankings points as he closes in on a seeding at next year’s Australian Open.
It is his first third round appearance at a Masters series event, the highest rated tournaments outside the grand slams.
Standing in his way of a quarter-final appearance is German Zverev, who enjoyed an impressive second round win over in-form Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-5 6-4.
World No.5 Zverev had too much in the tank for de Minaur in the Washington final back in August where he won in straight sets but the Australian pushed him to a fifth set tiebreaker at the Davis Cup earlier in the year.
‘It’s crazy’: Zverev slams tennis scheduling
Alexander Zverev said on Wednesday that he will not play in the new-format Davis Cup finals in November 2019 because he needs the time off, calling the scheduling “crazy”.
The 21-year-old German, regarded as one of the finest prospects in tennis, said that he expects other high-ranking players to follow suit.
“Because in November I do not want to play tennis anymore,” the world number five said, speaking at the Shanghai Masters after beating Georgia’s hard-hitting Nikoloz Basilashvili.
“I think all the top guys will say the same thing. We have one and a half months off in our season, and that’s end of November and December.
“Making a tournament end of November which is 10 days playing and competing, it’s crazy.
“By the end of the year we are all tired.”
The finals of the Davis Cup, the venerable men’s team tennis event, will take place in Madrid in 2019 and 2020 for a week at the end of the season.
Many top players have skipped the Davis Cup in recent years to ease their schedule, and Zverev expects that trend to continue even with the new format, which was supposed to attract more of the star names.
“For us as top players, we had discussions, we had talks with the ATP how to make the season shorter, and not longer,” said Zverev.
“No, it’s not happening (playing in November 2019) and I guarantee you I will not be the only one.”