German tennis player Alexander Zverev came back from a set down to register a victory against former champion Stan Wawrinka and secure a berth in the semi-finals of the Australian Open 2020 on Wednesday. The seventh-seeded tennis star made a pretty slow start but got his game on the tracks from the second set as the scoreboard read 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 at the end of the fixture.
The 22-year-old player who was previously considered a title contender outside the big three registered his first semi-final berth in a Grand Slam. He has not been in a good form recently until he found his touch in this year's first Grand Slam.
Zverev defeated Wawrinka to reach semis of Australian Open
"It feels awesome, I don't know what to say," Zverev said. "I have done well in other tournaments, I have won Masters, I have won the World Tour finals but I never could break that barrier in the Grand Slams.
"You cannot imagine what this means to me and I hope this will be the first of many." Zverev came to the year's first Grand Slam lacking confidence after losing all three of his singles matches at the inaugural ATP Cup. He totalled 31 double-faults during the three defeats but his serve has been immaculate in the year's first Grand Slam.
Zverev hit 13 aces on Wednesday and while his opponent struggled with his serves, the German got 80 percent of his first serves in. "Thanks for reminding me. I thought I had forgotten about it," Zverev said when asked about what he did to improve his serve from the ATP Cup. "I worked very hard, I worked a lot on it. This is a Grand Slam. This is where you are supposed to play your best tennis and I am doing that."
Zverev will face the winner of Nadal vs Thiem fixture
Swiss Wawrinka, who won the first of his three Grand Slams at Melbourne Park in 2014, broke Zverev twice early to breeze through the opening set but the 22-year-old German came roaring back into the contest. The opening set against Wawrinka was the first Zverev lost in this year's Australian Open but he won the next three sets by breaking his 34-year-old opponent's serve five times.
"I was getting ready to talk to the press about why I lost in straight sets to be honest," Zverev joked, adding he needed time to adjust to conditions as he played at night before. "Then kind of turned it around and my energy picked up a little bit."
Zverev converted his first match point when Wawrinka sent a forehand long and he will meet either top-seeded Spaniard Rafa Nadal or Austrian Dominic Thiem for a place in Sunday's final. The German has pledged A$10,000 for every match he wins and his entire A$4.12 million ($2.82 million) first prize money to bushfire relief if he goes on to lift the trophy on Sunday.