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Australian Open 2024: Alexander Zverev survives gruelling five-set battle against Lukas Klein

World number six, Alexander Zverev, faced an epic showdown at the Australian Open, enduring a marathon five-set thriller against Slovak qualifier Lukas Klein.

Tennis Australian Open 2024: Alexander Zverev survives gruelling five-set battle against Lukas Klein osf
First Published Jan 18, 2024, 1:10 PM IST

The Australian Open witnessed a grueling battle on Thursday as world number six, Alexander Zverev, faced an intense challenge from Slovak qualifier Lukas Klein. In a marathon contest lasting four-and-a-half hours on Margaret Court Arena, Zverev managed to secure victory in five sets, overcoming Klein 7-5, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (10/7). The match posed a significant test for the sixth seed, who narrowly avoided a second-round exit in Melbourne.

Zverev, who is set to face trial in May for an alleged assault on his former girlfriend in 2020, a claim he denies, expressed the difficulty of the match against Klein, ranked 163rd and without a current coach. Despite acknowledging Klein's exceptional play, Zverev reflected on his relief at advancing to the third round, where he will face unseeded American Alex Michelsen.

While Zverev started strongly by securing the only break in the first set, Klein fought back, demonstrating resilience and skill. The Slovak player's baseline winner in the second set and a net volley break in the third set kept the match finely balanced. The fourth set saw a tense tie-break, with Klein's netted forehand proving decisive. The drama continued into the fifth set, where Zverev faced and saved a break point before breaking Klein for a 2-1 lead. However, Klein, displaying determination, broke back to level at 3-3, leading to a nail-biting tie-break finale cheered on by the crowd.

Also Read: Australian Open 2024: Stefanos Tsitsipas' resilience shines in comeback victory over Jordan Thompson

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