PARIS: German sixth seed Alexander Zverev battled back from a dreadful start to outlast home hope Pierre-Hugues Herbert in a fluctuating five-setter in the French Open second round on Wednesday (Sep 30).
Zverev, runner-up at this month's US Open, spent three hours and 59 minutes to carve out a 2-6 6-4 7-6(5) 4-6 6-4 victory in front of a small crowd on Court Philippe Chatrier.
The 23-year-old was nowhere in the first set and was a point away from trailing 5-1 in the second before he began to get to grips with the doubles specialist.
Herbert will rue throwing a away a lead in the third-set tiebreak with some loose shots but pounced superbly in the fourth set when Zverev's level dropped again.
Even when Zverev moved 3-0 ahead in the decider there was to be another twist as Herbert, ranked 78th in singles, battled back to square it off at 3-3.
Zverev, with coach David Ferrer watching on, responded to move 5-3 ahead only to falter when serving for the match.
Herbert served a nervy double-fault in the next game though and Zverev seized his chance to secure victory.