Top-seeded Zverev, who took a wild card, tops Istomin in Marrakech

Top-seeded Zverev, who took a wild card, tops Istomin in Marrakech

The German suffered back-to-back early loses in Indian Wells and Miami last month.

Top-seeded Alexander Zverev routed Denis Istomin, 6-4, 6-4, to advance to the Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakech on Tuesday.

Zverev, who was playing Istomin for the first time, just needed one break in each set to emerge victorious—he fended off all three break points in the match. He hit 13 aces against the 32-year-old's three. Also, he won 86% of his first serve points.

The German took a wild card into the tournament to get his feet on the red dirt early after suffering back-to-back early losses last month. He fell to then 55th-ranked fellow German Jan-Lennard Struff in the Indian Wells third round, and immediately followed that with a Miami opening defeat to soon-to-be retired 37-year-old David Ferrer.Today, he needed this win to gain some momentum before heading to Europe Monte Carlo next week.

In 2018, he won his third Masters 1000, in Madrid, and then capped the year with the ATP Finals trophy—he beat Roger Federer in the semifinals and top-seeded Novak Djokovic in the final. Yet, this season he's only made one final—in Acapulco. 

Up next for the world No. 3 is fellow 21-year-old Jaume Munar, who eliminated Facundo Bagnis, 6-1, 7-6 (3).