Alexander Zverev wins Paris hearts with comeback victory over Damir Dzumhur


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Rafael Nadal has a new rival for the affections of the sometimes fickle patrons of Court Philippe Chatrier. Anyone who witnessed the tournament’s main court rise to embrace Alexander Zverev in victory here on Friday – reciprocated at length – will have been easily persuaded the handsome young German has the game and the charisma to hold their hearts for as long as he chooses.

In the absence of Roger Federer – the sport’s darling – Zverev is seeded second, so can meet Nadal only in the final. What a match that would be. On the evidence of his progress in the first three matches – a quick loosener on day one against Ricardas Berankis, a three-and-a-half-hour grind to overcome Dusan Lajovic and his imperfect but thrilling 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (3), 7-5 win over 26th seed Damir Dzumhur in the third round – there is still work to do.

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Written by Kevin Mitchell at Roland Garros
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