Berlin – This Alexander Zverev is ripe – not only for his long-awaited Grand Slam title. With the impressive tournament victory, the Olympic champion in Cincinnati gained further self-confidence for the US Open and the respect of the competition. The gold medal in Tokyo also clearly advanced the 24-year-old in his personal development and therefore makes him appear ready for further great deeds. Ideally, as early as next Monday in New York, when the final Grand Slam tournament of this season begins on the Flushing Meadows facility.
How confidently Zverev dealt with his Russian friend Andrei Rublev 6: 2, 6: 3 in the final on Sunday in just 59 minutes was impressive – especially after the famous catch-up the day before in the semifinals against the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas. How Zverev presented himself afterwards was also astonishing: modestly in triumph, with empathy for the defeated opponent, entertaining for the viewers, who have also been missing for him for so long.
For Alexander Zverev, Novak Djokovic is a big favorite at the US Open
Despite two trophies and eleven wins in a row, Zverev does not see himself as the biggest contender for the title for New York. “I think Novak will be back. I think he’s still the favorite, ”said the new fourth in the world rankings with a view to number one Novak Djokovic. The Serb defeated by Zverev in the Olympic semifinals has not played since the painful defeat and now wants to win the fourth and last Grand Slam tournament of this year, rested in head and body – all four in one season were recently won by Australian Rod Laver 52 years ago.
“But I think other guys will also be in great shape,” said the native of Hamburg. “There is still a week until then. I still have a lot of work to do. I also have to find my rhythm in New York. ”Last year there he only missed a ridiculous two points in the final against Dominic Thiem, an Austrian who had been injured in the wrist for months, to his first triumph at one of the four most important events.
Now Zverev looks as if he could take the last step, which at the beginning of July at the round of 16 at Wimbledon still seemed much too big for him. The Tokyo Olympic gold seems to have made a big difference. This success has apparently freed the sensitive athlete Zverev from a burden and also earned him the long-missed recognition of German sports fans. Private things away from the tennis court have advanced the process of growing up in people Zverev. His environment is in order, Zverev is at peace with himself, he has emphasized this several times over these months.
With the pottery trophy in his arms, he looked at his overjoyed father during the victory speech. “Don’t cry like that, for God’s sake,” he called jokingly to his dad and coach when he couldn’t hold back tears of joy over the fifth Masters title. Boris Becker – who had just become Wimbledon winner for the first time – was the only German to win the event in the second-highest category in 1985. Zverev had never won a match in the main field there before this week.
Zverev has escaped from his friend Rublev
Rublev looked sadly at the trophy because his friend had hurried a little since they were children. “It’s so unreal. You have so many titles, you have beaten so many top players, ”said the world number seven. “It is really incredible. When we grew up we dreamed of it. Your father brought you to this level. “
After his 17th tournament victory, Zverev also spoke of an “unbelievable feeling” before the US Open, but slowed down in view of the competition, which is still huge even without the injured Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Thiem. In any case, he has big plans. The Cincinnati event, which was not so popular before, could become one of his favorite tournaments in the next ten to 15 years with many more successes, announced Zverev.