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Melbourne | Zverev and Rublev in 4R NextGen clash

Melbourne | Zverev and Rublev in 4R NextGen clash

Alexander Zvrev has beaten Fernando Verdasco comfortably 6-2 6-2 6-4 to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open and match his best results at Melbourne and be just one match away from equaling his best run at grand slam level.

He has been touted as one of the NextGen who could start breaking up the dominance of the Big Thee in the majors but, as yet, the 22-year-old has not lived up to expectations.

Should he go on to gain his first grand slam title, he has promised to donate the champion’s winnings of A$4.12 million to the Australian bushfire relief fund but considering his record to date at the majors, his promise would seem to lack substance. On the other hand, he has also promised to donate A$10,000 for each round he wins.

But becoming champion would undeniably mean a great to the young German who has already massed a not insignificant fortune. So, would he miss the champion’s final cheque?

“For me, if I win the Australian Open, I will be the happiest person on the planet. I think that the $4 million Australian will be in much better use in the hands that know what to do with it, and know how to help others.” Zverev said earlier in the week.

“For me, my parents always taught me to take care of first of all the ones that you love, but it’s also important to take care of the people that need it more than yourself.

“For me, obviously $4 million is a lot of money. For the people in need, it’s more important right now. So this is a gesture that I thought about for a long time. If it happens, I’ll be the happiest person on the planet.”

His next hurdle could prove a problem for he will be facing another member of the NextGen club, Andrey Rublev who this season remains unbeaten in the 11 matches he has played, his latest victim being the 11th seeded David Goffin for his place in round four.

Andrey Rublev continues his unbeaten run

Jaimi Chisholm/Getty Images)

The 22-year-old Russian, seeded 17, beat the Belgian 2-6 7-6(3) 6-4 7-6(`4) and will face the seventh seed with increasing confidence for a place in the last eight.

“Everything is great with the confidence,” Rublev said.

“Sometimes it’s not about confidence. When you feel the ball well, okay, it’s amazing. But you cannot control this.”

But he is finding it hard not to think about his exceptional run so far and blames the media for continually reminding him.

“To be honest, I was not even thinking about it, how many matches I win, how many matches I lose. It’s more in the media, they start saying, like, you win 10 matches,” he said having won two titles (Doha and Adelaide) in the first fortnight of the new season.

“Then you start to think, wow, I won 10 matches.

“Of course, it’s amazing that I win that many matches in a row. But tennis is this kind of sport that every week is only going to be one winner. Most of the times you’re going to lose every week.”

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