Legends raise fears over Zverev’s mind games

German world No.6 Alexander Zverev has clinched a straight-sets victory at Roland-Garros to advance to the third round, but the win didn’t come without the woes that regularly hinder his serve.

Zverev defeated Russian world No.182 Roman Safiullin 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, 7-6 (7-1) to set up a clash with the winner of Serbian combatants Laslo Djere and Miomir Kecmanovic.

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But the 24-year-old only completed 66 per cent of first serves and registered 10 double faults.

Australian 22-time grand slam doubles champion Todd Woodbridge suggested there was a link between Zverev’s serving issues and mind games.

“Concentration is an issue, it seems like, for him,” Woodbridge said on Nine’s coverage.

“It might come because of the serve. At times you can see the inner workings of the brain ticking over.”

Former Australian world No.4 Jelena Djokic agreed that Zverev’s serve was hampered by his mind, but she commended him on his ability to bounce back from his on-court mental troubles.

“The serve definitely gives him a little bit of trouble out there, especially that second serve. And at times, yes, that can cause his level to drop and that focus and that concentration,” Djokic said.

“But what he does well, he recovers, he comes back, he stays composed, he stays positive. Today, what was impressive, those big points, those two tie-breaks, he played so well, he raised his level.

“A confident match and now he gets a bit of time to recover and get ready for the next one.”

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