May 30, 2017 / 1:22 PM / 2 months ago

French Open - Verdasco stuns in-form Zverev in two-stage win

Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - 30/5/17 Spain's Fernando Verdasco reacts during his first round match against Germany's Alexander Zverev Reuters / Christian Hartmann

PARIS (Reuters) - Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco stunned ninth seed Alexander Zverev at Roland Garros on Tuesday, eliminating the in-form German 6-4 3-6 6-4 6-2 in a first round match that was suspended overnight after a long debate between both players and the umpire.

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The 33-year-old clay court specialist outmuscled the German when play resumed on Tuesday at one set each, with Zverev having lost momentum from a day earlier when he had grabbed the second set and looked in control.

Instead of pushing to play on on Monday evening, Zverev agreed to Verdasco's request to call a halt shortly after 8:30 p.m. local time, a decision that proved disastrous for the German.

The 20-year-old world number 10, who has already won three titles this year including the Italian Open and was seen as an outside bet for the title in Paris, had no answer on Tuesday to Verdasco's punishing ground strokes.

The Spaniard, who has won six of his seven career titles on clay, broke Zverev twice to clinch the third set before the German collapsed in the fourth.

Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by John Stonestreet

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