Alexander Zverev put an exclamation on his 2018 season become the first player to beat both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic and win his biggest career title yesterday at the ATP Finals.
“This is the biggest title of my career so far,” Zverev said. “This trophy means a lot, everything, to all the players.
“It’s quite astonishing, winning this title, beating two such players back-to-back, Roger and Novak, in semifinals and finals. Means so much. I’m incredibly happy and incredibly proud of this moment right now.”
The title was Zverev’s 10th of his career and fourth of 2018. But the young German has sputtered after reaching the Rome final last May, make just one other title match winning Washington until this week.
And at 21, he becomes the youngest ATP Finals champion since Djokovic in 2008.
“Obviously they’re still going to be the guys to beat at the big tournaments,” Zverev said. “I will hope. I mean, I will do everything I can to get better, to compete with them always. I feel like I’m doing that.
“But still I have a lot of things to improve. I’m still very young. Hopefully next year I’ll be able to play better tennis than I did this year, even though it’s been a good year.”
Cleary for the German, the August move to hire Ivan Lendl also paid off nicely.
“He obviously analyzed the match that I played with him a few days ago, told me a few things I had to do different,” Zverev said of Lendl’s input. “I was more aggressive today. I tried to take the ball earlier. Those kind of things.
“But my dad is the one that gave me the base. My dad is the one that taught me the game of tennis. I’m very thankful to him for that. Obviously Ivan, the experience he has on and off the court, is amazing. That helped me, as well, to kind of play the two matches that I played back-to-back now.”
Zverev said he’ll now go to the Maldives and Dubai on holiday, but the bigger question remains, is he the future of the sport?
“It’s great, but the future, we still got multiple and multiple years for all of us ahead,” Zverev said. “A lot of things can happen. A lot of things can change.
“I’ll do everything I can to be on top. But the other guys are playing great tennis, as well.”
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