Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Germany's best tennis player Alexander Zverev launches a custom-made kick-off against Rafael Nadal at the ATP finals in London. Back at the place of his greatest triumph, after a complicated year he seems to be back to his best. But there are still big hurdles left.
Alexander Zverev was in a great mood. After his impressive debut against Rafael Nadal, the 22-year-old looked really elated. His perfect start to the mission title defense at the ATP Finals in London was not even decisive. "I'm just happy, even outside the field," said the 22-year-old on Sky: "It can be so easy." It had simply looked like Zverev took the 19-time Grand Slam winner apart in less than an hour and a half. The German won 6: 2, 6: 4 and thus celebrated his first victory in the sixth duel with the Spaniard. "That was a small highlight of this year," he said afterwards: "But I hope I have a few more in front of me." Best of all on Wednesday (21 clock / Sky) against the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, who had clearly beaten at the start of Russia's high-flyer Daniil Medvedev. "I'm always a rhythm player" The gala appearance against Nadal, however, puts the world ranking list sitter at least in a good starting position in the fight for the two tickets for the semifinals , Especially with his service Zverev had dominated the game from the beginning. Else Aces succeeded him, with only two double failures, in addition he made strong 88 per cent of the points after successful first serve. Garnished with some spectacular forehand and impressive efficiency in the oncoming break opportunities, this was one of his best achievements in the year 2019, which was so mixed up so far. "I am always a rhythm player", the Hamburg native himself analyzed: "If I have the rhythm, if I can compete with any opponent, I can overpower anyone. " In London, he apparently succeeds this very well. "When I play this aggressive tennis I have beaten all the big three on this court," said Zverev, who defeated Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic at the same place last year. One of these two chunks could wait for Zverev in the semi-finals this year.2019 – a year of complicationsThe fact that he feels comfortable in the imposing O2 Arena in London is hard to miss. Already in the previous year he ran there after a by no means outstanding year to the best form and got the biggest title of his career so far. Also in 2019 everything went smoothly for the German number one. He only reached the round of the last eight in three of the nine Masters 1000 tournaments, winning only one title in Geneva. A success in a Grand Slam tournament seemed possible after last year's finals triumph, but Zverev could not meet the high expectations. The big breakthrough keeps it coming. In addition, the tennis professional had to contend with a long-running dispute with his former manager Patricio Apey, separated from his coach Ivan Lendl and has been trainerlos untermen months. Now the London rhythm phenomenon was repeated at least in the opening match. "It's definitely a court that I love and that makes the most of me," said Zverev. Zverev will probably have to show the best against Tsitsipas, who is one of the "currently best players in the world". He has already lost twice this season against the one year younger Greek. The rank as the biggest sensation in the subsequent top player generation Tsitsipas has now expired. But woe, if Zverev finds his rhythm.