Alexander Zverev is only 20 years old and yet he already accomplished so much. He is the youngest to qualify for World Tour Finals since Juan Martin Del Potro in 2008 and won 5 titles this year, 2 of them being Masters (defeating Djokovic and Federer).
If Sascha stays grounded, healthy and keeps his great work ethic, then I see no reason not to reach the biggest heights in Tennis: winning Grand Slams, World Tour Final or being number 1.
It was only natural for the German to be nervous when he made his debut at the elite tournament. The emotions can wear you down, but if you’re strong enough, you can take that energy and turn it into fuel. So he did.
Zverev met Marin Cilic in his first round-robin match from the group. As the youngster said before the match, they know each other from a young age, so they are really familiar with their style of play. That’s why all their matches were close.
Sascha started the match like a storm, breaking Marin’s serve from the first try. He then was untouchable on serve. He came to the net quite often and made a lot of backhand winners, not allowing the Croat to get comfortable or to get in with a chance in the match. Cilic couldn’t find solutions or his rhythm.
The second set was a different story, as Zverev let the nerves get the best of him, allowing Cilic to play his way. Cilic had the momentum. He was going for the lines and was hitting huge forehands – on the long of the line or inside-out. The Croat claimed the second set and pushed the match into a decider.
In the third, it seemed that Alexander still didn’t found his way back. He looked unable to replicate the form from the first set. His serve was broken and it seemed like Cilic will march on from there.
But then Zverev’s warrior spirit activated. He showed that this year’s success didn’t come by chance, but by a lot of hard work and fighting spirit. He went all in and Cilic didn’t had answers. The German broke the Croat’s serve at 5-4 (at love) to claim a big win and a huge step in his World Tour Finals campaign.
Zverev is now 4-1 against Cilic, winning four in a row. He lost in their first meeting, two years ago.
I felt a little bit nervous coming out for the first time here. I think that’s normal for anyone that is playing here for the first time.
I’m very happy to get my first win in this group.
The young superstar will next meet (Tuesday, night session) none other than his idol, Wolrd number 2, Roger Federer. The pair met 5 times until now, 4 times in official matches. Their head to head record in official matches is 2-2 and 3-2 for Zverev if we get to count the Hopman Cup meeting.
Federer – Zverev is the match that I’m going to attend live this year from the World Tour Finals. Will get to see one of my childhood idols and one of the favorites from the new generation. Should be exciting!