Trying to get an early grip of the Asian swing on hard court, Alexander Zverev has had an early start by choosing to compete in Shenzhen, an ATP 250 event. As the first seed of the tournament, he received a bye in the opening round and had his first test yesterday. Barely surviving the challenged named Steve Darcis, the world No. 4 wasn't fit enough to deliver once more today. He went on to lose in straight sets to Damir Dzumhur (40 ATP). Aged 25, the Bosnian player is building a nice winning streak as he has now eight consecutive wins under his belt.

Last week, he won the ATP 250 event in St. Petersburg, Russia defeating Fabio Fognini in the final. Going back to Zverev, the leader of the NextGen pack has been showing some signs of mental fatigue after reaching the peak of for back in August with those back-to-back titles in Washington and Montreal.

Dzumhur had to race from behind in both sets

Generally, an ATP top player doesn't need too many opportunities to impose his own domination during a match. For Zverev, the theory applied yesterday as he edged Steve Darcis in the third set's tie-break. Today, things were a bit different with Dzumhur as the one who had to race from behind. Crossing their path in Shenzhen's quarterfinals, Zverev and Dzumhur were standing face to face for the first time.

The German had the better start as he raced to an early lead. Still riding the momentum an ATP title gives, his opponent managed to bounce back breaking Zverev's serve twice. It was enough to seal the set by 6-4 letting the German to wonder what did he do wrong.

The second set had a similar scenario unfolding with Zverev taking an even bigger lead.

Leading by 4-1 it seemed that a third set was in sight. It wasn't the case as the Bosnian dug deep to make his way up to the floating line. Saving three set points also boosted his confidence while seeding doubt in Zverev's game. Finally, he completed the show sealing the set by 7-5. For the Bosnian player is the second semifinal in a row as he is getting closer to the top 30 limit.

Alexander Zverev's plan didn't work well

Trying to get some wheels prior to the bigger ATP events of the segment, Zverev aimed for a flurry of wins in Shenzhen. The lack of success recently seems to have an impact on his overall tennis output. The upcoming events are expected to get harder as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will also be there to collect. The battle for the year's end world No. 1 spot is still on and Zverev might get caught in the middle of it.