Trailing by two sets to one, the German rose to the occasion, rallying past the World No. 103 4-6, 6-1, 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-4 to earn his first tour-level win of the season.
Zverev tore several lateral ligaments in his right foot during his Roland Garros semi-final clash against Rafael Nadal in June and only returned to Tour at the United Cup last month. Competing in his third match of the year, the World No. 12 refused to go away against Varillas, striking 69 winners to seal victory in four hours and nine minutes.
“I am extremely happy because I missed this over the past seven months,” Zverev said. “This match alone pays off for all the hard work and suffering that I have had. To win in front of this kind of crowd again. I can’t wait for the rest of the tournament. No matter what happens from now, the tournament is already a success for me.”
More to follow…