The fourth seed needed just an hour and 14 minutes to record a 6-1 6-0 6-3 win over his beleaguered Spanish opponent and make it 13 victories in a row.
Zverev, who appears the biggest obstacle to Novak Djokovic’s hopes of clinching the calendar Grand Slam is riding a golden wave following his Olympic triumph and lost just nine points on serve in the match.
The German reached his first slam final at Flushing Meadows last year and led Dominic Thiem by two sets to love before the Austrian somehow found a way back.
“It was painful,” said Zverev. “I still remember it every single time I walk on this court but I take it as motivation because I’m back here, I have the opportunity to do better, I have the opportunity to hopefully play a great tournament, hopefully play for a grand slam title.”
Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini did not have things all his own way against Frenchman Corentin Moutet but came through 7-6 (2) 4-6 6-4 6-3 while 22nd seed Reilly Opelka was a 7-6 (1) 7-5 6-4 winner over young Italian Lorenzo Musetti.
There was a shock on Court Five, where veteran Italian Andreas Seppi, playing in an 18th consecutive US Open, defeated 10th seed Hubert Hurkacz 2-6 6-4 6-4 7-6 (6).
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in