Zverev claims Rome crown

GERMAN Alexander Zverev is officially fourth in the world today after winning his sixth ATP Masters 1000 crown, defeating Chilean Nicolas Jarry in the final overnight. The third seed accounted for the 21st seed in straight sets, 6-4 7-5 on Sunday to secure his second Rome International title.

The victory over Jarry saw Zverev rise one spot into the top four just in time for Roland Garros, moving past Daniil Medvedev to join Novak Djokovic, Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz inside the top four. The title was Zverev’s first major trophy, and third overall title since his long-term ankle injury two years ago.

“Obviously winning my first ever [Masters] here in Rome and winning my first after my injury also in Rome, so Rome is a very special place for me,” Zverev said post-match. “It is a very, very special week.”

In a match that lasted one hour and 41 minutes, Zverev needed to rise to his best tennis against an in-form Jarry who defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas and Tommy Paul en route to the final. Zverev only dropped the one set throughout the tournament, and the win marked his second title in the Italian capital after his inaugural Masters win in the city way back in 2017.

“He (Jarry) is playing huge and you can see by the players he has beaten here this week,” Zverev said . “Playing incredible tennis. I told him if he continues to play like that he will have many chances at this level. Today I am extremely happy to be the winner.”

Jarry rises to a career-high 17th in the world by making the final, with the 28-year-old reaching an ATP Masters 1000 final for the first time. He still won 78 per cent of his first serve points, but could not generate a break point off Zverev’s serve as the German went lights out, winning a ridiculous 37 of 39 points (95 per cent) off his first serve, and 44 of 49 (90 per cent) in total.

The Chilean said the service percentage was the difference in the end.

“I think his percentage of first serve was pretty high,” Jarry said post-match. “I don’t know how much it was, but I felt that I didn’t have enough chances. His service, apart from being very good, is very different from all the other serves. He takes the ball very high, so the bounce is very special. It took me time to get the trajectory of it.

“At the end I felt I had it more. I think I got one 30-All and it got a (indiscernible) point. I needed a little bit more time to get used to it. I think that’s where it all went through.”

Both players will rest up this week and fly to Paris ahead of the French Open which kicks off on May 26 and runs until June 9.

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