Siz­zling Zverev takes fourth ti­tle of the year

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

WASH­ING­TON: Alexan­der Zverev is­sued a warn­ing to top ATP ri­vals Sun­day af­ter win­ning the Citi Open for his fourth ti­tle of the year-he’s not the next gen­er­a­tion, he’s the now gen­er­a­tion. The 20-year-old Ger­man de­feated South Africa’s Kevin An­der­son 6-4, 6-4 to cap­ture the $355,460 (302,000 eu­ros) top prize at the US Open tuneup event on the Wash­ing­ton hard­courts. World num­ber eight Zverev dropped only nine points on his serve and never faced a break point in be­com­ing the youngest player to win four ATP ti­tles in a year, or take the Wash­ing­ton crown, since Ar­gentina’s Juan Martin Del Potro did it at 19 in 2008.

“I im­proved a lot in the last few months to get where I can win tour­na­ments,” Zverev said. “The longer the tour­na­ment goes for me the bet­ter I’m able to play. Hope­fully this can con­tinue to be like that.” Zverev won his first ti­tle last Septem­ber in St. Peters­burg and added tro­phies this year at Mont­pel­lier, Mu­nich and Rome, where he downed No­vak Djokovic in the fi­nal. He also ousted num­ber four Stan Wawrinka at Mi­ami and pushed Rafael Nadal to five sets in the third round of the Aus­tralian Open.

“I’m ‘Next Gen’ but the rank­ings say it for them­selves,” Zverev said. “I think I showed I can play with the big guys this year. “I think I showed I’m not an ‘in the fu­ture’ kind of guy. I’m right now.”

Only Wim­ble­don and Aus­tralian Open cham­pion Roger Fed­erer with five ti­tles has won more ATP crowns this year than Zverev, and that’s only be­cause the Swiss star handed the Ger­man his lone fi­nals loss of 2017 at Halle in June. “A lot of peo­ple are look­ing at him as the face of ten­nis and the next Grand Slam cham­pion,” An­der­son said of Zverev. “He seems to deal with it all pretty well. It will be in­ter­est­ing to see how the next lit­tle while pro­gresses.

“I wouldn’t be sur­prised if he wins a few Grand Slams. He def­i­nitely seems to be on a path in that di­rec­tion.” Zverev, who will re­main a ca­reer-best eighth in Mon­day’s rank­ings, made a Slam-best fourth-round Wim­ble­don run, los­ing in five sets to Mi­los Raonic.

MAKAROVA WINS WOMEN’S TI­TLE

“Win­ning those types of matches is the next level I need to reach,” Zverev said. “To get far in those events is my next goal.” Zverev thanked new co-coach Juan Car­los Fer­rero, the former world num­ber one from Spain who worked with him at an event for the first time this week.

“What a way to start to­gether and hope­fully we have many more years to come and many more ti­tles to­gether,” Zverev said. “It’s amaz­ing what we’ve al­ready ac­com­plished.”

Rus­sia’s 58th-ranked Eka­te­rina Makarova pre­vented a Ger­man ti­tle sweep by ral­ly­ing past 40th-ranked Ju­lia Go­erges 3-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-0 for her third ca­reer WTA crown. “I was dreaming to win this tour­na­ment and I’m so happy,” Makarova said.

Makarova hadn’t won a ti­tle since 2014 in Pat­taya City. Her first WTA tro­phy came at East­bourne in 2010. —AFP

WASH­ING­TON: Alexan­der Zverev, of Ger­many, kisses the tro­phy af­ter he de­feated Kevin An­der­son, of South Africa, to win the Citi Open ten­nis tour­na­ment, Sun­day, in Wash­ing­ton. — AP

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