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In the zone, Struff stuns Zverev to reach BNP Paribas Open fourth round

Jan-Lennard Struff

by Jeff Donaldson

It’s the biggest result of the German No. 3’s career

An under-the-weather Alexander Zverev was no match for fellow-German Jan-Lennard Struff, who blitzed the No. 3 seed 6-3, 6-1 in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open on Monday afternoon. Bringing in an 0-4 record against his wunderkind compatriot, Struff swung for the fences with nothing to lose – and it paid off, helping the 28 year old reach the biggest fourth round of his career.

“I played a good match,” assessed Struff after the match. “He was missing some shots today, but at the end of the day I’m very happy with that.”

Zverev got off to a solid start in the match, generating a double break point on Struff’s potent serve, but the world No. 55 would save both. Three games later, the pace of Stuff’s big-hitting all-court game would start poking holes in the Zverev armor, generating break points of his own before taking his fourth two games later.

Monday, March 11, 2019 – Alexander Zverev and Jan-Lennard Struff in the 3rd round of the BNP Paribas Open in Stadium 1 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Kathryn Riley/BNP Paribas Open)

From there, it was all downhill from the reigning Nitto ATP Finals champ. He was unable to break the Struff serve despite two break point opportunities in the final game of the first, and was promptly broken in the second. Drained of his resolve, proceedings were swiftly wrapped up, punctuated by one final break to love on a Zverev double fault.

Struff will face Canada’s Milos Raonic in the fourth round.

“I have been sick for a week,” said a disappointed Zverev after his defeat. “That hasn’t changed, unfortunately.

“Now it’s about getting healthy and about recovering and preparing myself for Miami, because Miami is the tournament I do well in, history-wise. Here I have always struggled.”

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