MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Germany’s Alexander Zverev overpowered Aljaz Bedene to win their first round match at the Australian Open 6-4 6-1 6-4 as the 21-year-old firms as a title contender.
The big-hitting fourth seed went down a break midway through the first set, which seemed to prod him into action. He won the next eight games, and Bedene never recovered.
Zverev will play the winner of an all-French first round match between Jeremy Chardy and Ugo Humbert.
Zverev, known as Sascha, has emerged as the leader of tennis’ new generation of men’s players, a reputation confirmed late last year by his maiden ATP Finals triumph where he beat Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in consecutive days.
(Reporting by Jonathan Barrett in Melbourne; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)