The rushing-and-crushing Mischa Zverev won his first career title on Saturday on grass as the German served-and-volleyed his way past Lukas Lacko 6-4, 6-4 for the Nature Valley International crown in Eastbourne, Great Britain.
“It was definitely one of the emotional moments in my life,” Zverev said. “Beating Andy Murray in Australia was special, but there you win a match, you’re still in it and the tournament’s not over. But here you’re the last one standing at the end of the week and you have the trophy, so it’s definitely a very unique feeling.
“I always wanted to win at least a title. For many years I didn’t believe in myself. I didn’t think I was going to do it, especially when I was ranked 1100. But thank God I have my family and my brother and the whole team, my wife who is always telling me, no, you can achieve things, you can do big things. Just believe in yourself, work hard, and it’s going to pay off one day.”
Lacko produced a steady stream of unforced errors under the Zverev net attack.
The title comes eight years after the elder Zverev first reached an ATP final.
“I hope it’s going to help me in the future,” he said afterwards. “It’s going to take pressure off of me. It’s going to give me more confidence, show me that, like, I can play five matches and win them all and win the tournament and I can do it physically and mentally. So I hope it’s going to help me.”
The 30-year-old joins his brother Alexander Zverev as ATP title winners in 2018, marking the first time siblings have lifted singles trophies in the same season since 1989 (Emilio Sanchez and Javier Sanchez).
Three years ago Zverev said he had thoughts of quitting tennis after suffering a fractured wrist, two fractured ribs, a herniated disc in his lower back, and a small tear in the patella tendon in his knee.
Lacko fell to 0-2 in career finals, making a finals appearance six year after his first.
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