Alexander Zverev lays down marker for 2022 with ATP Finals triumph

If Alexander Zverev’s performance this weekend is any indication, a lot can be expected from the world No 3 player in 2022.

The German beat the top two players in consecutive matches to earn his second title at the ATP Finals. After eliminating the No 1 Novak Djokovic over three sets in the semi-finals, Zverev put on a dominant performance in the final on Sunday, beating the world No 2 Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 6-4.

The title is the culmination of quite a year for Zverev, who also won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics and who has now finished 2021 with more wins on tour – 59, one more than Medvedev – than anyone else. The main thing missing in Zverev’s silverware collection is a grand slam trophy, having lost an epic final against Dominic Thiem in last year’s US Open.

“It was great,” Zverev said. “I won the World Tour Finals in the final against a player I lost five times to in a row so I had to play one of my best matches. I’m happy about that, happy to be going on holidays with this win. There’s no better way to end the season than winning here. I’m obviously incredibly happy but I’m also very much looking forward to next year already.”

The final on Sunday was a rematch of a round-robin match on Tuesday, when Medvedev beat Zverev in a third-set tie-breaker. This one went Zverev’s way from the start, as he crushed a huge backhand to the corner then gained from a net-cord winner to break Medvedev’s serve in the third game of the match.

Helped by fast conditions inside Turin’s Pala Alpitour, Zverev was virtually untouchable on his serve, winning 20 of 25 points in the first set. Zverev broke again in the opening game of the second set then grew so confident that he began executing audacious swinging-volley winners as he occasionally followed his serve to the net.

This marked the first Turin edition of the season-ending event for the top eight players – after 12 years in London, where Zverev won his first finals title in 2018.

Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut won the doubles title by beating Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury 6-4, 7-6 (0).

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