Alex Zverev suffers injury scare but holds off Cameron Norrie to reach round four

Alex Zverev celebrates after winning his match against Cameron Norrie
Alex Zverev celebrates after winning his match against Cameron NorrieReuters
Fourth seed Alexander Zverev (27) survived an injury scare and an epic third-set tiebreak to beat Britain's Cameron Norrie (28) and match his best Wimbledon run by reaching the fourth round for the third time on Saturday.

The German produced a sensational display of serving to win 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(15) - finally ending Norrie's rugged resistance by converting his sixth match point.

Zverev dropped only two points on serve in the third set, although one of them was a double-fault that gave Norrie an early advantage in the tie-break.

Norrie had five set points of his own to extend the contest and ask questions of Zverev's knee which he appeared to strain when sliding and falling awkwardly early in the second set.

But Zverev, who struck the ball with clinical precision throughout the contest, never wavered and Norrie cracked first on the 32nd point of the tiebreak, sending a shot over the baseline to end British interest in the men's singles.

Zverev needed regular treatment after injuring his knee while chasing down a drop shot in the fourth game of the second set and appeared hampered at times.

But he showed great focus, serving magnificently and striking his groundstrokes with venom and depth to largely control the contest against the world number 42.

"I do feel like a cow on ice sometimes (on grass)," Zverev, who also beat Norrie in five sets at the Australian Open and leads their Tour head-to-head 6-0, said on court.

"It is what it is but I managed. I do feel restricted on some of the movements but I will check and see what it is but I'm pleased I was able to play the way that I did. If I'd dropped in my level I would have had no chance against Cam."

Zverev has bitter memories of injuries ending Grand Slam challenges, notably at the 2022 French Open when he had to be taken off court on a wheelchair during his semi-final against Rafa Nadal, having sustained serious ankle damage.

Speaking to reporters later he sounded confident that this knee injury was not too serious.

"If you're breaking a ligament or breaking something else, the meniscus or something like that, I don't think you can continue playing even the way I did, hopefully I'll be fine in two days' time," he said.

Norrie, who beat new British number one Jack Draper in the previous round, could make little impression on Zverev's metronomic serving but got the crowd roaring as he pushed the classy German into the tiebreak in the third set.

An incredible conclusion to the match saw 29 of the first 31 points of the breaker go with serve and it was a case of which player would blink first.

Norrie, a Wimbledon semi-finalist two years ago, played his best tennis in the breaker and raised the decibel level when he brought up his fifth set point with an ace.

But Zverev fended that off with a volley and when his next chance came along he took it.

A few more points and it might have broken a Wimbledon tiebreak record - that honour still goes to Bjorn Borg who played a 38-point tiebreak against India's Premjit Lall in 1973.


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