Turin (AP) – The perfect end to the season reinforced Alexander Zverev’s longing for the first Grand Slam title. Ready for vacation, the 24-year-old said goodbye to the Maldives after the biggest triumph of the year alongside the Olympic gold medal.
But before he got on the plane from Milan on Monday, he left no doubts about his tennis goals for 2022. The time should finally be ripe for one of the tournament wins with the highest value. “I’ll do everything for it,” said Zverev after the second victory at the ATP Finals of the best professionals of the year. He’ll work as hard as possible to “work his ass up for it to happen”.
In the multi-purpose hall Pala Alpitour in Turin, he first had number one in the world, 20-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic, and then surprisingly sovereign 6: 4, 6 in the final on Sunday : 4 defeated number two in the world, Daniil Medvedev.
Still far behind in first place
Excited, Zverev immediately spoke on the blue hard court of attacking the top of the world rankings next year. “I have the goal too, of course,” said the man from Hamburg two hours apart, but gave consideration: “You have to say, Novak was dominant.” And the gap to first place is far.
Overjoyed, Zverev caressed his dogs after his triumph and fooled around with brother Mischa and the trophy. That evening the fan of pizza with ham and mushrooms drove to Milan. The tennis icons Boris Becker and Rod Laver, the team around Djokovic and Bayern professional Thomas Müller sent their congratulations. His friend Sophia Thomalla, who was not in the hall, sent a message on social media: “Without a trophy, I wouldn’t have let him in at home either!” Joked the eight-year-old actress, presenter and businesswoman with a tearful laughing Smiley face.
Fresh love is just as much a part of Zverev’s annual review as the six titles that none of his competitors have achieved. In March, ex-girlfriend Brenda Patea gave birth to Zverev’s first daughter. In his private life, that shaped his year just as much as the step of having his brother represent him as a manager. The violent allegations of violence by his ex-girlfriend Olga Sharipova continue to complicate his career. Zverev has vehemently denied the allegations. The professional organization is now determining ATP. The investigation is pending. The turbulence away from the field did not dissuade him from his path in terms of sport.
On the contrary – thinks his older brother too. “He’s the best Zverev that has ever existed, but he can get even better,” said Mischa at “eurosport.de” about Sascha. The new top four for him are “Djokovic, Medvedev, Sascha and Tsitsipas. That’s just my feeling, that can of course change,” said Misha Zverev.
Olympic victory gives impetus
Even more than November 21 in Turin, his second success at the ATP Finals after 2018, August 1 will be remembered when Zverev became the first German Olympic champion in men’s singles. But that also shows that the images that stick with this undoubtedly successful year did not play out at the Grand Slam tournaments. What is still missing are successes like in Turin and Tokyo, even when it comes to three winning sets. Then in the statistics at Zverev, when it comes to victories against top ten players: still a zero.
Rafael Nadal is a stranger after his injury break, the comeback of Roger Federer will be a long time coming, but the 34-year-old Djokovic will initially remain the top favorite for big titles. “He can definitely win a Grand Slam because it’s just obvious. But he’s not the only one. That’s where it gets difficult,” Medvedev said of Zverev.
Zverev will not be playing in the Davis Cup from the end of the week in Innsbruck in favor of relaxation. The calendar is December 19, when the most successful German title collector in men’s tennis behind Boris Becker in Baden-Baden is a candidate for the election of athlete of the year.
The Hamburger will play his first tournament at the ATP Cup. The first Grand Slam title will be awarded at the Australian Open from mid-January. Is the strength gained through the gold medal sufficient for the Grand Slam title premiere? “Definitely next year”, brother Mischa Zverev promised on Bild TV.
For this goal, the tennis star of the family could perhaps complete the next fitness session on Wednesday, he speculated. First of all, Alexander Zverev announced for the vacation: “We’ll be doing a lot of nonsense, I think, in the next few days. Nothing dangerous, don’t worry.”
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 211121-99-90094 / 6
Tennis world rankings
ATP-Profile Novak Djokovic
ATP-Profile Daniil Medwedew
ATP-Profil Alexander Zverev
ATP-Profile Stefanos Tsitsipas
ATP profile Andrej Rubljow
ATP-Profil Matteo Berrettini
ATP profile Casper Ruud
ATP-Profil Hubert Hurkacz
ATP-Profile Kevin Krawietz
Medvedev and Zverev in direct comparison