Germany's Alexander Zverev makes a forehand return to Robin Haase of the Netherlands.
Germany's Alexander Zverev makes a forehand return to Robin Haase of the Netherlands. Dita Alangkara

Rising star pushed to limit in five-set thriller

GERMAN star Alexander Zverev has survived a meltdown and a five-set thriller with veteran Robin Haase to move through to round two.

The 19-year-old, who has two wins over Roger Federer on his CV, eased through the first set in 32 minutes before his Dutch opponent put up more of a fight in the next two sets.

Haase had not reached the second round at his previous five Australian Opens but took a 2-1 sets lead.

The young German lost control at the start of the fourth set when his serve was broken and he slammed his racquet twice on the court, earning a code violation from the chair umpire.

"Sometimes it's good to let it out and I started to play my best tennis again after that in the fourth set,” Zverev said.

He showed his class, however, and the 24th seed turned things around with double breaks to force the fifth set, which he won 6-2.


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