"It's not working that good when he's fit, but at this situation it was flawless".
While fatigue may come into play, Zverev has alleviated concerns over his fitness, saying he is mentally strong to rally on in the ongoing tournament.
While Putintseva regularly lost her composure, Keys stayed calm throughout and the big-hitting American secured victory on her first match point with a powerful serve which clipped Putintseva's racket and flew into the crowd. Zverev's best is his backhand, a two-hander which though not as versatile nor as useful defensively as the likes of Djokovic's, Murray's and Nishikori's, is struck just about harder than anyone else's.
Paris - Dominic Thiem reached his third successive French Open semi-final on Tuesday with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 demolition of a hobbled and exhausted Alexander Zverev who admitted he was close to quitting the tie.
Thiem showed no mercy as he continued to dominate, racing into a 4-0 lead in a flash in the third set by mixing up his game expertly. "I'm very happy about being in the quarterfinals here, going the hard way, going the long distance ... showing everybody that I can play for as long as I need to".
Thiem stumbled in the Madrid Masters final to Zverev last month, though given the stage, their respective forms and the latter's time spent on court, the seventh seed goes in as favorite.
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Strycova contributed nearly twice as many unforced errors as her opponent-33 to 18, per Flashscore.com, and dropped serve at least twice in each set. But he recovered to win the 4th set. The Austrian sealed his victory in the first set with an ace.
Meanwhile, resurgent former champion Novak Djokovic moved into the quarterfinals for the 12th time as he subdued feisty Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
A left hamstring problem started affecting him as early as the third game in the match and by the end of the second set his mobility was seriously inhibited. "I'll get myself ready for that", he said. "So I think we can make it legendary and that would be very nice", Thiem, 24, told reporters after his huge forehand helped him to destroy Japan's Nishikori.
In the first two sets, the Austrian won 25 of 25 points on his first serve.
Consider that Cecchinato has never won a tour-level match on a surface other than red clay; as it is, he entered this season with a career record of 4-23 and entered this tournament with a Grand Slam record of 0-4.
Stephens next plays either Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki - seeded second - or 14th-seeded Russian Daria Kasatkina.
Stephens' compatriot Madison Keys beat Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-1, 6-4, and will next face Yulia Putintseva, who knocked out No. 26 seed Barbora Strycova 6-4, 6-3.
Fact is, his French Open probably should have ended in the first round.