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Alexander Zverev v Tennys Sandgren ATP Washington live stream: Zverev to be too much for Sandgren

Brendan O'Neill in Tennis 3 Aug 2017

World No. 8 Alexander Zverev targets a spot in the Citi Open quarter-finals when he faces American Tennys Sandgren in Washington D.C. on Thursday night.

Watch and bet on tennis live at bet365 > sports > live streaming tennis. Zverev vs Sandgren third round clash begins around 8.30pm local time on Thursday (1.30am BST, Friday).

Playing in Washington D.C. for the third straight season, fifth seed Alexander Zverev continues his Citi Open title quest on Thursday when he takes on the aptly named Tennys Sandgren. Zverev has already enjoyed success in the American capital, making the quarter-finals on debut in 2015 and then reaching the semi-finals last year. Can the rising star continue his gradual improvement at the ATP 500 tournament? Standing in his way in the third round is Sandgren, an American player who is enjoying a career-best season in 2017, sitting just outside the top 100. Zverev and Sandgren take to court around 8.30pm local time on Thursday (1.30am, Friday BST).

Watched on by new coach Juan Carlos Ferrero for the first time since linking up with the former No. 1 and French Open champion, Zverev survived a huge battle against World No. 75 Jordan Thompson on Wednesday in his Washington opener. Zverev dropped the opening set and was down a mini-break at 5-4 in the deciding set tiebreaker before eventually prevailing 4-6 6-3 7-6(5) in two hours and 11 minutes in front of a raucous crowd on Stadium court.

“I really love the crowd in DC. They're always involved in the tennis. I think they always quite enjoy coming back and supporting all of us,” Zverev said. “I've played here the past two years. I've played pretty well, and obviously it helps every single time to play in such a great atmosphere. I think they enjoy matches like that and I think we, as players, really appreciate it as well.”

It’s been a whirlwind season for Zverev, with the 21-year-old winning titles in Montpellier and Munich before capturing the biggest title of his career at the Rome Masters, becoming the youngest player since Novak Djokovic - the player he defeated in straight sets in the final - to win a Masters 1000 crown. Surging into the top 10 for the first time, Zverev appeared ready to take his game to the next level - namely, winning matches and going deep into the second week at slams.

However the German wasn’t quite able to do that at the French Open and Wimbledon, losing in the opening round in Paris to Fernando Verdasco and falling in the R16 in London to Milos Raonic, meaning that Zverev still hasn’t defeated a top 50 player in a best-of-five sets match. Perhaps the addition of Ferrero to Zverev’s extensive team - his father remains his coach as well - will help the rising star in dealing with the added pressure of playing big matches.

“From a personal point of view, he's one of the nicest guys I've met,” Zverev said of Ferrero. “He obviously can be very strong on court, telling me what to do and telling me what I'm doing wrong. But he's such an easy guy to be around that it was such an easy decision for me to take him into the team. He doesn't want to take my father's place; my father doesn't want to take his place. From that kind of view, he was the perfect fit.”

Zverev looks to go 2-0 with Ferrero in his corner on Thursday when he takes on Tennys Sandgren.

Although born in Tennessee, Sandgren’s first name has nothing to do with tennis - rather he was named after his Swedish great-grandfather, who if you’re playing along at home, didn’t play tennis. But Sandgren is now starting to make a name - pardon the pun - for himself with his racquet on the court, enjoying a nice breakout season of sorts in 2017 that has him on the brink of breaking into the top 100.

Sandgren, who’s development on tour was derailed a couple of years ago after undergoing hip surgery, has won two Challenger titles this season in Tempe and Savannah, while he also finished runner-up in Sarasota. Those strong results at Challenger level earned Sandgren the USTA’s wildcard for the French Open, where he made his grand slam debut but lost in the opening round to Mikhail Kukushkin.

The 26-year-old dropped back down to Challenger level after Roland Garros, making the semi-finals in Prostejov and the quarters in Caltanissetta, but this week in Washington D.C. has been arguably the highlight of his year, with Sandgren claiming his first ATP victory in the first round with a straight sets win over Go Soeda, while he benefitted from a Nick Kyrgios retirement while leading the Australian 6-3 3-0 to secure his spot in the third round.

Unsurprisingly, this will be the first meeting on tour between the pair. Sandgren in many ways is a similar type of player to that of Zverev’s second round opponent Jordan Thompson. Sandgren is one of the biggest fighters you will see on the court and makes his opponents work for every point, but in turn, he does need to develop a big shot in order to make an impact as he breaks closer to the top 100. After brushing off the cobwebs in his opener, Zverev should be far too strong on Thursday night.

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