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Infosys ATP Fan Meter Reveals Top 10 Loudest Moments Of The Nitto ATP Finals

  • Posted: Nov 19, 2018

Infosys ATP Fan Meter Reveals Top 10 Loudest Moments Of The Nitto ATP Finals

Crowds at The O2 reached as high as 110 decibels during the season-ending event

After eight days of thrilling Nitto ATP Finals action at The O2 in London, Alexander Zverev earned the biggest title of his career. The 21-year-old German defeated World No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-3 on Sunday, but which moment did fans inside the world famous venue in South East London connect most with? Infosys ATP Fan Meter has the answer.

Recording decibel levels inside Centre Court throughout the tournament, the Top 10 moments from the elite eight-man event have been confirmed. Six of the eight players competing for the trophy at the season finale made the Top 10 winning list, with all eight man featuring in matches containing Top 10 moments.

Leading the way, with three entries in the Top 10, is Roger Federer. The six-time champion was responsible the loudest reaction of the tournament in his opening match against Kei Nishikori, with the crowd reaching 110dB as they rallied behind the 16-time Fans’ Favourite award winner after an exquisite forehand lob in the second set. That level of sound isn’t unfamiliar to regular visitors to The O2, but this time there were no microphones, drums or guitars.


The opening singles match of the tournament provided the second loudest moment of the event, as Dominic Thiem fired a cross-court forehand winner late in his epic second-set tie-break against Kevin Anderson. Despite falling to the South African in straight sets, Thiem won the hearts of the crowd, who responded with an impressive 108dB for his fearless efforts. Thiem almost beat that figure in his following match, notching 106 dB with a solid overhead under pressure in the second set against Federer.

Runner-up Novak Djokovic makes two appearances in the list, hitting 107dB and 106dB in his first and final Group Guga Kuerten encounters, respectively. The five-time champion impressed the London crowd with a backhand winner down the line against Isner in his opening match, before stunning Marin Cilic with his phenomenal defensive skills as he completed group play with a 3-0 record.

No list would be complete without an entry from the champion in the final match of the ATP World Tour season. With 104 dB, Zverev earned his spot in the Top 10 late in the first set of the championship match. The German became the first man to break Djokovic’s serve throughout the tournament as the World No. 1 misfired on his forehand side.

Marin Cilic and Kei Nishikori complete the Top 10, lifting the crowds in their fourth appearances at The O2. The 2014 US Open finalists proved finesse can be just as effective as power, with Cilic clocking 105dB for a stellar drop volley against Zverev and Nishikori hitting 104dB for an imaginative slice backhand in his round-robin loss to Anderson.

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Where Were Federer, Nadal, Djokovic & Murray At Zverev's Age?

  • Posted: Nov 19, 2018

Where Were Federer, Nadal, Djokovic & Murray At Zverev’s Age?

On Sunday, Zverev won his 10th title and first Nitto ATP Finals crown at 21 years, 212 days old

Alexander Zverev hit the high point of his still-young career on Sunday, defeating World No. 1 Novak Djokovic to lift his first Nitto ATP Finals title at 21 years, 212 days old. It is the German’s 10th tour-level triumph, and his biggest yet.

But Zverev has accomplished a lot at his young age. He has already captured three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles and earned 23 victories against opponents inside the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings. And by virtue of his win over Djokovic on Sunday, Zverev became the youngest Nitto ATP Finals champion since Djokovic himself a decade ago.

So one may wonder, where were some of the best players in the game when they were Zverev’s current age? flashes back to take a look at where all four active players who have reached No. 1 in the ATP Rankings were when they were 21 years, 212 days old.

Roger Federer
Considering Federer now has 99 tour-level trophies, one might be surprised that he owned just six when he was Zverev’s age.

The Swiss had climbed to No. 4 in the ATP Rankings, and won an impressive 178 tour-level matches. And Federer had won his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title 10 months earlier in Hamburg, beating two opponents inside the Top 10 en route to what was the biggest triumph of his young career.

But it was after he was Zverev’s age that Federer broke out. In March of 2003, when Federer was 21 years, 212 days old, he had already lifted two trophies that season. But the Swiss would go on to win five more that year, including his first Grand Slam championship at Wimbledon and his first of a record six Nitto ATP Finals crowns in Houston, where he would beat World No. 1 Andy Roddick, World No. 2 Juan Carlos Ferrero and Andre Agassi twice. The following February, Federer ascended to the top of the ATP Rankings for the first of what has been 310 weeks at World No. 1.

 Titles  Masters 1000 Titles  Career-High ATP Ranking  Record  Winning Percentage
 6  1  4  178-97  64.7%

Rafael Nadal
The Spaniard achieved an incredible amount by the time he was Zverev’s age. Nadal had already won 23 tour-level titles, including his first nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crowns and three Coupes des Mousquetaires at Roland Garros.

Perhaps what stands out the most is that in 2005, when Nadal turned 19 years old, the Spaniard won 11 tour-level titles. To this day, Nadal has not lifted more trophies in a single season since. Nadal claimed the first four of his record 33 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles that year, and he hasn’t looked back since.

When Nadal was Zverev’s age, he had already amassed more than 250 match wins. And to put that in perspective, there are less than 200 players in history who have earned that many tour-level victories, according to the FedEx ATP Performance Zone.

 Titles  Masters 1000 Titles  Career-High ATP Ranking  Record  Winning Percentage
23  9  2  254-66  79.4%

Novak Djokovic
The Serbian, had recently captured his first Nitto ATP Finals trophy when he was 21 years, 112 days old. That was Djokovic’s 11th tour-level title, and it came at the close of his best season to date.

In 2008, Djokovic claimed four victories, all of which were ‘Big Titles’. The current World No. 1 won his first Grand Slam championship at the Australian Open that year, earned his third and fourth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles in Indian Wells and Rome, and won at least 60 matches for the second consecutive year.

Djokovic spent the entirety of 2008 at No. 3 in the ATP Rankings, and he earned 11 victories against Top 10 opponents that season. And there was no stopping from there, as Djokovic would win five titles in 2009, and the rest is history.

 Titles  Masters 1000 Titles  Career-High ATP Ranking  Record  Winning Percentage
 11  4  3  185-68  73.1%

Andy Murray
The Scot had climbed to a career-best No. 4 in the ATP Rankings when he was Zverev’s age. Murray won an impressive five ATP World Tour titles in 2008, bringing his career total to eight at just 21 years of age.

Murray also claimed his first two ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles that season, triumphing in Cincinnati and Madrid, when the Spanish event took place later in the year on indoor hard courts. Murray also advanced to his maiden Grand Slam final in 2008, defeating Nadal en route to the championship match at the US Open, where Federer would claim his fifth consecutive trophy.

And while Murray fell short in that match, he won three of his four FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings against Federer that year, and his win against Nadal in Flushing Meadows was his first victory against the Spaniard in six tries.

 Titles  Masters 1000 Titles  Career-High ATP Ranking  Record  Winning Percentage
8  2 4 155-65  70.4%

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Wheelchair Doubles Masters: Louise Hunt & Dana Mathewson lose final

  • Posted: Nov 19, 2018

Great Britain’s Louise Hunt and her American partner Dana Mathewson lost the women’s Wheelchair Doubles Masters final in the Netherlands.

The pair lost 6-3 6-1 to Dutch pair Marjolein Buis and Aniek van Koot.

Hunt and Mathewson had beaten Buis and Van Koot in a group match but found them too strong in the final.

Briton Lucy Shuker and her partner Diede de Groot won the third place play-off 6-0 6-1 against Katharina Kruger and Michaela Spaanstra.

The Masters is the ITF’s final doubles championship tour event of the year.

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Zverev stuns Djokovic to win ATP Finals – report & highlights

  • Posted: Nov 19, 2018

Alexander Zverev stunned world number one Novak Djokovic in straight sets to win the season-ending ATP Finals and earn the biggest victory of his career.

Djokovic, 31, was the heavy favourite to win a sixth finals title but was outclassed 6-4 6-3 by the German.

Zverev, the third seed, broke Djokovic for a 5-4 lead in the first set, then served three big aces to take the set.

The 21-year-old continued to dominate in the second and sealed a memorable victory as Djokovic faltered.

“I’m unbelievably happy. Obviously it is the biggest title I have ever won,” said Zverev, who took home about £2m in prize money.

“How I played today, how I won it, for me it’s just amazing.”

He had lost to Djokovic in straight sets in the round-robin stage but, after beating Roger Federer in Saturday’s semi-finals, produced a more confident performance to stop the Serb equalling Federer’s haul of end-of-season titles.

Zverev missed his first championship point before hitting a sensational backhand down the line for victory, falling to the court in a mixture of disbelief and celebration as Djokovic jumped over the net to congratulate him.

“You definitely played much better than you did the group stage,” Djokovic told him with a laugh. “You deserved to win.”

  • Relive how Zverev beat Djokovic in straight sets

Djokovic rattled by courageous Zverev

Zverev has long been heralded as the young player most likely to carry the mantle for the men’s game once the likes of Djokovic, Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray have retired, with the 6ft 6in German’s booming serve, crunching groundstrokes and improved play around the net showing he has all the facets needed to reach the very top.

Against Djokovic he also showed mental resilience and staying power in gruelling rallies to prove he is the real deal.

A high-quality first set remained on serve in the opening eight games, both players only managing to win three receiving points up to then, before a stray forehand from Djokovic – a rare unforced error this week – brought the first break point of the match in the following game.

Djokovic landed a deep first serve but when it came back over to his side of the court could only crack a forehand into the net.

For the first time in the tournament he had lost his serve, and for the first time he looked rattled.

The true test for Zverev was to keep his nerve and serve out for the first set, a question answered by the German firing down three aces before sealing the set as Djokovic went long with a backhand after a short rally.

Time for Zverev to shine at the Slams?

Zverev kept up the attack at the start of the second set, creating two break points in the opening game – one by outlasting Djokovic in a 26-shot rally – and taking the second opportunity.

Djokovic was somewhat gifted the break back as Zverev produced two double faults but any thought that might swing the momentum back to the Serb proved unfounded, Zverev breaking again to hold a lead which he would not relinquish.

Djokovic, who had won 35 of his previous 37 matches, suddenly lost the control he had shown all week and was unable to make Zverev serve out for victory as the German broke again to win in one hour and 19 minutes.

Zverev’s next challenge is to show he can perform over the five-set format at the Grand Slams.

This year he reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final at the French Open and it looks only a matter of time – especially with eight-time major champion Ivan Lendl now in his corner – that he will go deeper into the biggest tournaments.

My game fell apart – Djokovic

Djokovic started the week as the hot favourite to win at the O2, following a remarkable resurgence which saw him win Wimbledon and the US Open on his way to regaining the number one ranking after being outside the top 20 in July.

Djokovic’s relentless returning has been the hallmark of his game and before the final he stressed the importance of putting the ball back into play on Zverev’s first serve.

Although he managed to do that regularly, Djokovic perhaps did not account for Zverev being able to stick with him in the long rallies.

For once Djokovic was unable to wear down his opponent and, coupled with his below-par service game, was unable to seriously threaten Zverev.

Djokovic appeared to wane mentally as the match slipped away from his grasp, although defeat here cannot take the shine off an extraordinary year.

“He had big serves. I wasn’t returning well,” Djokovic said. “I wasn’t making him move too much. I was making way too many unforced errors.

“From 4-4 in the first set, my game fell apart. But if we put things in perspective it has been an amazing year and a great comeback.”

A big step up for Zverev – analysis

BBC Sport tennis correspondent Russell Fuller

Zverev was so good in the first set – serving consistently at over 140mph – that Djokovic looked punch drunk in the second.

The world number one had played an almost perfect match against Kevin Anderson on Saturday, but after his serve was broken three times in a row, his belief drained.

Zverev has already won three Masters events, but this title is a step up. The next step is a Grand Slam: Ivan Lendl is now helping his dad with the coaching and, for the record, Roger Federer had not won a Grand Slam at the age Zverev is now.

There should be a lot to look forward to in 2019. Djokovic has dominated the second half of the season, but the only three players to have beaten him since the beginning of Wimbledon are no more than 22 years old.

‘Surpass Djokovic? Let’s chill out a bit’

Djokovic believes Zverev’s win could have deeper significance for the men’s game, with the world number one saying he “deserves everything he gets”.

“There’s a lot of similarities in terms of trajectory of professional tennis in our careers,” added Djokovic. “Hopefully he can surpass me. I mean, I sincerely wish him that.”

But Zverev played down catching the 14-time major champion, who has won 72 career titles – five of those coming at the ATP Finals.

“I hope I can do great. But just chill out a little bit,” said the German.

“I mean, I’ve won one of those. He won five. He’s won, I don’t know what, 148 titles more than me. Let’s not go there for now.”

And Zverev talked up the presence of the only other players to have beaten Djokovic since the start of this year’s Wimbledon – 22-year-old Russian Karen Khachanov and Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas, 20.

“Us young guys, we’re coming through. Khachanov winning the Masters in Paris was a big thing. I was very happy for him. I wasn’t happy that he beat me, but I was happy for the victory that he had because I’m quite good friends with him,” he said.

“The victory for Tsitsipas in Toronto, I felt like Novak wasn’t playing his best there, but obviously all the credit to Tsitsipas. You have to beat someone like Novak because he’s not going to give you the match.

“It’s great, but the future, we still got multiple and multiple years for all of us ahead. 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.”

Game, set and stats…

  • Zverev is the first player to beat both Djokovic and Federer in the same ATP Finals
  • He is also the first to beat the top two seeds in the semi-finals and final of the event since Andre Agassi in 1990
  • Zverev, aged 21 years and six months, is the youngest champion at the ATP Finals since Djokovic in 2008
  • Zverev is the first German winner since Boris Becker in 1995
Recent ATP finals
2017: Grigor Dimitrov beat David Goffin
2016: Andy Murray beat Novak Djokovic
2015: Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer
2014: Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer
2013: Novak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal
2012: Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer

Doubles victory for Bryan & Sock

Mike Bryan and Jack Sock won the doubles title in thrilling fashion, coming from a set down to beat French pair Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 5-7 6-1 13-11.

Bryan, 40, only paired up with Sock in June because brother Bob, with whom he has won 16 Grand Slam titles and Olympic gold, is currently recovering from a hip injury.

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Challenger Q&A: Opelka Caps Top 100 Climb With Champaign Crown

  • Posted: Nov 19, 2018

Challenger Q&A: Opelka Caps Top 100 Climb With Champaign Crown

21-year-old sits down with broadcaster Mike Cation to discuss his victory in Champaign and Top 100 breakthrough

Finishing the season inside the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings is a special achievement for those competing on the ATP Challenger Tour. It marks the culmination of a year of hard work and often signals a turning point in a player’s career.

But few Top 100 ascents are as dramatic as this. Reilly Opelka opened the month of September at No. 173, with a mountain to climb to crack the century mark. Having struggled with a bout of mononucleosis over the U.S. summer, the 21-year-old needed to find his form in a hurry. What resulted will go down as one of the most memorable storylines of the Challenger season.

Opelka had claimed just 17 match wins during the year, as he stepped on the hard courts of windy Chicago in the first week of September. He would double that total in the coming months, capping his Top 100 ascent with a stunning 17-4 stretch. It all kicked off with back-to-back finals in Chicago and Cary and culminated with consecutive titles in Knoxville and Champaign. That’s four final appearances in just six tournaments following the US Open. 

On Saturday, Opelka blasted to a career-high No. 98 in the ATP Rankings behind a 7-6(6), 6-3 win over Ryan Shane in the final of the JSM Challenger of Champaign-Urbana. He needed to sweep both indoor events in Knoxville and Champaign to conclude his season and he did just that, reeling off nine straight matches with aplomb. Playing with poise and maturity from the baseline, the 6’11” American did not only rely on his seismic serve. Armed with a more consistent and patient ground game, coaches Jay Berger and Jean-Yves Aubone have guided their young charge to new heights.

You May Also Like: Challenger Q&A: Opelka Nears Top 100 With Knoxville Crown

Opelka Fast Facts
– Concludes the season in second place among Challenger win-loss percentage leaders (.756), behind only Vasek Pospisil (.784).
– One of six players to win at least three titles in 2018, joining Guido Andreozzi (4), Pablo Andujar (3), Hugo Dellien (3), Christian Garin (3) and Jordan Thompson (3).
– First American to win three titles in a single season since 2014 (Bradley Klahn and Sam Querrey).
– Joins Frances Tiafoe and Taylor Fritz as Americans aged 21 & under to feature in the year-end Top 100.

After winning in Champaign, Opelka spoke to broadcaster Mike Cation…

You said last week that Top 100 didn’t really matter to you, because of the long-term goals. That being said, now you’re there and you’ve guaranteed yourself Australian Open main draw. That has to mean something at this point.
Yeah, being in the main draw of Australia is huge. It allows me to go there and play two tournaments before the Australian Open. Usually I’ll have to play qualies the week before and it’s a long trip over there just for that. You might just play one match and then qualifying, which is brutal. From that standpoint, it’s huge. Like I said last week, Top 100 is not something I’m celebrating, but yes, I’m stoked to be there.

Two straight titles to get there is pretty hard to do. In your first couple matches in Champaign, your game wasn’t entirely there. What turned on as the week progressed?
I was focused, but I just played another guy [Lloyd Glasspool] with a big serve. And then [Kaichi] Uchida was playing insane in the second round. The tough moments in the tournament were early on and then in the quarter-finals it was just a great match-up for me. On Friday, it was extremely physical [against Tommy Paul], so I wasn’t 100 per cent confident in my body today. But I knew that playing Ryan, he would be serving big and looking to end points quick. I didn’t have to rely on moving and being physical to win the match.

Tommy Paul is a very close friend of yours. How awkward was it to play him for the first time as pros, in the semi-finals?
I didn’t feel it was awkward, actually. We know each other so well and have practised a ton together. We know each other’s games, but it did take me a while to get going in that match. I started slow. Once that happened, we played great tennis. From 2-all in the second set until the end of the match, it was high quality. I didn’t serve my best, so I won a lot of points from the baseline and was just scrapping. We had a 40-ball rally on the first match point. I had to win in a different way from how I’m used to winning. 

It was completely different in the final against Ryan. He’s playing some incredible tennis this week and showing everyone what he’s capable of, reaching his first final. What did you see from him and how did you combat that?
I think he’s just disrupted a lot of guys. He was playing much more consistent with the same aggression. That’s huge. In baseline points, I didn’t feel comfortable at all. I’d hit a huge shot and he responded right back. Granted, he missed some big shots that he shouldn’t have, including that break point that gave me the first break. Maybe that’s the downside to his style, where you can’t control it in the big points. But that’s what won me the match today.

You played pretty well under pressure the past two weeks. How do you bring that into next year? What will you do with a six-week off-season in front of you?
I actually don’t think it’s something I can bring into next year. I have six weeks off and I’ll take a short break and then it’s five weeks of getting better. We looked at a lot of stats and watched a lot of my matches last year. We’ll do the same this year. Putting this year behind us what we need to do and we’ll look at what flaws need to be fixed for next year.

If you take out the struggles with mono and you look at the year as a whole, what you’ve done is pretty important. Just in terms of your growth and your development. You are at the point where you can start playing more and more ATP events so you are not at the Challenger level. How important is that for you in 2019?
It’s huge. I hope I can make a nice transition on the ATP World Tour. I’m not saying I will or it will be easy, but it’s definitely not my last Challenger. I have the opportunity to go to Australia and train with a couple tour events and prepare for the Aussie Open. I’ve never had that chance before.

Last week you said you weren’t going to celebrate your title in Knoxville, but now you don’t have anything to worry about with a complete week off coming up. How are you going to celebrate with your team, family and friends?
My favourite restaurant is in Chicago. It’s called Boca. I’m going to try to take my talents there and probably won’t be able to walk out because I’ll be eating so much. I went there every night with Michael Mmoh during the Chicago Challenger. He’ll also confirm that it’s the best restaurant we’ve been to. It’s on the agenda.

ATP Challenger Tour 

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A new superstar has arrived – Becker says Zverev's win is a watershed moment

  • Posted: Nov 19, 2018

Alexander Zverev stunned Novak Djokovic to win the season-ending ATP Finals on Sunday, earning the 21-year-old the biggest win of his career.

Six-time Grand Slam champion Boris Becker, who coached Djokovic to six major titles between 2014 and 2016, watched the match as a BBC Sport commentator.

He explains why his fellow German’s victory over the world number one is a significant moment.

Alexander Zverev winning the ATP Finals is a moment which the whole tennis world has been waiting for.

For years we have been saying tennis needs new faces and strong new players – and he has proved he is the best of the next generation.

Beating Novak Djokovic in the final was a big upset and a big victory for Sascha.

It was the big match which we were all waiting for from him.

Yes, he has won three Masters 1000 titles before, and has beaten Djokovic and Federer before, but to beat Novak and Roger back to back in one of the biggest tournaments in the world tells him, most importantly, but also the world, that he is going to be the next big thing.

The world saw a new superstar in tennis arrive on Sunday.

  • Zverev stuns Djokovic to win ATP Finals
  • Relive how Zverev beat Djokovic to win ATP Finals

What Zverev needs to do to go deep in the Slams

We’ve been talking about the next generation for a couple of years now and Zverev is the best of the lot.

He showed it last year by reaching the number three ranking in the world and following it up this year by winning another Masters title in Madrid.

He has played consistent tennis throughout the year and will now finish it as number four in the world.

Winning the ATP Finals is a big step for him, now doing it over five sets at the Australian Open in January, and then the other Grand Slams, is where it really matters.

His mental resilience was impressive against Novak, as was his staying power.

After breaking Novak’s serve he had to serve out for the first set – and hit three aces. That showed his mental strength.

I was impressed with how he started the match, obviously he was the underdog, he lost in straight sets to Novak a couple of days ago, and he didn’t blink.

He held his serve easily – regularly hitting serves up to 130mph and finding the target with a high first-serve percentage – and made Novak start to worry.

He wasn’t afraid of getting into the long rallies, Novak seemed to be puffing a lot, a lot of running was done, he seemed to be on a mission.

Nobody can stay with Novak normally in long rallies but Sascha did and that frustrated Novak.

Now he has to do this consistently in five-set matches at the Grand Slams.

Lendl can take Zverev to the top

As the head of German men’s tennis I’ve been mentoring Sascha for the last two-and-a-half years so I have practised and travelled with him many times and know him very well.

He is a curious 21-year-old, he walks through life with an open mind and an open perspective.

Often he has asked me about what it takes to win. I’ve told him it is one thing winning a match or two and reaching a quarter-final, and another being successful at a major event like the ATP finals and Grand Slam.

I talk to him about the old days, when I won Grand Slams, ATP Finals and was number one in the world, what I did in those certain situations.

So I’m happy he now has Ivan Lendl as a coach because Ivan, who won eight Grand Slam titles, can tell him the same stories I can tell him and brings an understanding of the game to his team.

We have a lot of coaches, and no disrespect to them, but in order to win Grand Slam matches and become number one in the world it is easier to talk to people who have been there and about their own experiences.

Often it is a small margin and when you have someone on the sideline who has been there it has a big effect.

It is very brave for Sascha to ask someone like Lendl to join his coaching team.

It shows you Sascha’s motivation and his goals for the future. He wants to win and be the best so he is surrounding himself with the best.

Zverev’s best performances at Grand Slams
Australian Open Third round (2017, 2018)
French Open Quarter-finals (2018)
Wimbledon Fourth round (2017)
US Open Third round (2018)

Djokovic could dominate next year

Despite losing against Zverev, Novak has shown over the past week – and few months – that he is back to his very best.

There is not much difference between the Novak we have seen recently and the Novak who topped the world rankings for 122 weeks, and held all four Grand Slam titles, at his peak in 2015 and 2016.

To come back after a difficult start to the year and an injury to win Wimbledon and the US Open this year, and become the dominant player in the second half of the year, speaks volumes for his mentality and love for the game.

As his former coach, it is wonderful for me to see that because he obviously still has a lot of good tennis in him.

I think the time he had off earlier in the year rejuvenated him and made him realise how beautiful tennis is and how much he still has to give. He is more mature.

His serving is very good at the moment, he has shortened his swing to protect the elbow injury and that works in his favour.

Can he dominate the men’s game next year? Why not. He is playing amazing tennis.

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Zverev: "It's Just Amazing"

  • Posted: Nov 19, 2018

Zverev: “It’s Just Amazing”

German bounces back from round-robin loss to Djokovic for biggest title of his career

Alexander Zverev’s holiday in the Maldives will be that much more enjoyable next week after the 21-year-old followed in the footsteps of fellow German Boris Becker, who won the last of his three season finale titles in 1995, with victory over Novak Djokovic at the Nitto ATP Finals on Sunday. Zverev has also finished the year among the Top 4 in the ATP Rankings for a second straight season.

Zverev, who was emotional and admitted to being dazzled by the silver trophy in his post-final press conference, admitted, “This trophy means a lot, everything, to all the players. I mean, you only have so many chances of winning it. You play against the best players only. How I played today, how I won it, for me, it’s just amazing.”

As the youngest singles champion at the season finale since Djokovic clinched the crown in 2008, aged 21, when the event was played in Shanghai, Zverev fell to his knees in celebration on court after beating World No. 1 and five-time former titlist Djokovic 6-4, 6-3 at The O2 in London.

“I fell to my knees, so my knees kind of hurt,” said Zverev. “Apart from that, I was very happy. Obviously, it’s quite astonishing, winning this title, beating two such players back-to-back, Roger [Federer] and Novak, in semi-finals and final. It means so much. I’m incredibly happy and incredibly proud of this moment right now.”

Zverev recovered from a 6-4, 6-1 round-robin loss to Djokovic on Wednesday to become the first player to beat Roger Federer (in Saturday’s semi-finals) and Djokovic at the Nitto ATP Finals. He is the first player since 1990 to beat the top two seeds, replicating the feat of Andre Agassi who knocked out Becker in the semi-finals and Stefan Edberg in the final.

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In his eighth tournament since teaming up with Ivan Lendl, Zverev reflected on the influence of the former World No. 1. “He obviously analysed the match that I played with him a few days ago [and] told me a few things I had to do different,” said Zverev. “I was more aggressive today. I tried to take the ball earlier… But my Dad is the one that gave me the base. My Dad is the one that taught me the game of tennis. My dad deserves the most credit out of everyone… I’m very thankful to him for that. Obviously [with] 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 completed the season with an ATP World Tour-best 58 match wins on the season (58-19 overall), which includes three other trophies at the Mutua Madrid Open (d. Thiem), the BMW Open by FWU (d. Kohlschreiber) and the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. (d. De Minaur).

“[Djokovic and Federer] are still going to be the guys to beat at the big tournaments,” said Zverev. “[But] I will do everything I can to get better, to compete with them always. I feel like I’m doing that. But I still 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.”

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