The sixth seed Alexander Zverev shredded a racket in frustration when he had to dig deep against Marcos Giron before reaching the second round of the Australian Open on Monday

The German, a semi-finalist from last year trying to win his first Grand Slam title, lost a tight first set against 73 Americans before winning 6-7 (8/10), 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 6-2

It was a tougher task than expected when Zverev smashed his racket in anger in the second set before he came to again

“He played incredibly. He had me on the ropes, especially in the second set,” said Zverev, who is in the second round for the fifth time in a row

“I was just glad to get through the first round of a Grand Slam is never easy. My body felt a little tired, I was a little tired”

He will next face either Japanese Taro Daniel or American qualifier Maxime Gressy and said he was encouraged as he improved over the course of the game

“The longer the game went on, the better I started to play, and that’s a positive thing,” he said

“I have little more than 210 on serve, which is still pretty fast, but for me I know I can go faster so I had to vary it a little”

The 23-year-old entered the tournament after beating world number 12 Denis Shapovalov in the ATP Cup while pushing leader Novak Djokovic deep into a third set before being won by Daniil Medvedev, fourth was beaten

He wants to become the youngest Grand Slam individual champion since Djokovic won the title in Melbourne Park in 2011

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Zverev, Alexander Zverev

World news – AU – Bat-smashing Zverev wears down Giron