Zverev claims maiden ATP Finals trophy

GERMAN Alexander Zverev turned the tables on Russian second seed Daniil Medvedev after a loss earlier in the week, to knock off the world number two and claim his maiden ATP Finals trophy. Having advanced through to the semi-finals despite a loss to Medvedev in the group stage, Zverev fought past world number one Novak Djokovic 7-6 4-6 6-3 yesterday, but had a more comfortable 6-4 6-4 victory over Medvedev overnight.

Zverev only went down to the Russian in a thrilling three-set group stage tie which featured two tiebreakers during a 3-6 7-6 6-7 encounter. This time the German was more than Medvedev’s match, playing the same tennis that saw him hold off Djokovic to win in 75 minutes and lift his first ATP Finals trophy.

Zverev took control on serve from the get-go, producing four aces to none in the opening set, and serving at a far higher 72 to 62 per cent efficiency. The world number three also won 89 per cent of his first serve points (16 of 18) and only dropped five points in total on serve, never facing a break point. By comparison, Medvedev faced three, and whilst he only dropped a total of eight points on serve, suffered a break which was ultimately the difference in the set.

The second set was more even in terms of aces, but Medvedev was less consistent on serve. Whilst Zverev produced another four aces to the Russian’s three, he served at another consistent 76 per cent clip, whilst Medvedev fared with a lower 56 per cent efficiency and two double faults. Both players won 77 per cent or more of their first serve points, but there was only one break point opportunities between them, and then was on Medvedev’s serve, and taken by Zverev. That was all the German needed to salute 6-4 6-4 in a memorable final.

Medvedev had become a thorn in Zverev’s side of late, having won the past five encounters between the pair. The German said he was thrilled to overcome his nemesis on the big stage.

“It was great,” Zverev said post-match. “I won the [Nitto ATP] Finals, in the final against someone I had lost five times in a row, so I had to play one of my best matches. I am happy about that and happy to go on holiday with this win.

“It is special, and I am super thrilled and happy right now. “There is no better way to end the season than winning here. I am incredibly happy and I am already looking forward to next year.”

The victory closes out Zverev’s year, having amassed 59 ATP Tour wins for only 15 losses in 2021, as well as five titles to bring his career total to 18. Still only 24, Zverev was able to climb from seventh into third in the world by year’s end, and whilst he is not competing at the Davis Cup, will return in January for the ATP Cup to represent his nation, ahead of the Australian Open.

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