September 27, 2018

Player Feature: Alexander Zverev secured Laver Cup win for Europe

Three-time Masters 1000 title holder

Full Name: Alexander Zverev

Nickname: Sascha

Birthdate: April 20, 1997

Place of Birth: Germany

Playing Years: 2013 to present

Title(s): 2018 Citi Open

2018 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid

2018 BMW Open

2017 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Canada

2017 Citi Open

2017 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome

2017 BMW Open

2017 Open Sud de France

2016 St. Petersburg Open

Formative Years:

Having former tennis players as parents and a professional tennis player for a brother, the now three-time Masters 1000 title holder, Alexander Zverev, was definitely meant for greatness. A former world No. 1 in the junior rankings, he turned pro in 2013 and immediately reached the finals of the 2013 French Open juniors, before rising into the Top 100 at just the age of 18.

Tennis Career:

In the first six months after turning pro, Zverev participated in 10 Challenger tournaments. He also joined five Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) 250 events, but was not able to qualify for any of the main draws. However, he received a wildcard at the Bavarian International Tennis Championships. Zverev won his first ATP Challenger Tour title during the Sparkassen Open, overpowering three players placed in the Top 100. At 17 years old, he became the youngest player to ever win a Challenger competition since Bernard Tomic won the Maccabi Men’s Challenger in 2009. The following week later, he was given a wildcard for his remarkable act at the Stuttgart Open. He won his first ATP tour-level match during the 2014 International German Open when he won against Robin Haase. He defeated No. 5 seed Mikhail Youzhny in the second round for his first career win against a top 20 player.

Zverev began the 2015 and 16 seasons with a series of loss, however, at the Gerry Weber Open, he won his first round match against Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen in a series of straight sets. In the next round, he was able to achieve a career-high ATP ranking of No. 74. At the Wimbledon Championships in 2015, Alexander Zverev reached the main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time, succeeding as a top 100 ranked player. He finished the season in the top 100 rankings and won the ATP Newcomer of the Year award. He also represented Germany during the 2016 Hopman Cup with Sabine Lisicki. He got a hold of his first ATP semifinal of the year at the Open Sud de France, defeating 2014 US Open champion and world No. 13 Marin Cilic in the second round. In October 2016, he became the youngest player to be included in the ATP top 20 rankings since Novak Djokovic in 2006.                                                                                                            

Zverev started the following season by having the best result at a Grand Slam, falling in the third round of the Australian Open to eventual runner-up Rafael Nadal in a five-set match. In his second appearance at the Open Sud de France, he won his first title of the year. He and his brother also won the doubles title in Montpellier. He won his first Masters 1000 quarterfinal at the Miami Open, beating world No. 3 Stan Wawrinka. At the Italian Open, his impressive form was non stop as he beat fifth seed Milos Raonic in the quarterfinal, bagging his first Masters 1000 semifinal, defeating John Isner before progressing to his Masters final where he defeated Djokovic in straight sets to win his first Masters title. He then became the youngest player to win a Masters 1000 title since Djokovic in 2007.

In the 2015 Washington Open, he claimed his fifth ATP title, losing only one set before beating Kevin Anderson in straight sets to win his first ATP World Tour 500 event. He later played the Canadian Open, beating his childhood idol and second seed Roger Federer in the final, claiming his second consecutive Masters title. He rose to the World No. 7 for his outstanding performance, eventually becoming the highest-ranked German male since Rainer Schuttler in 2004.

Despite a series of impressive performances, he lost in the second round of the Cincinnati Masters in three sets. However, he returned to the US Open as a favourite, and as a fourth seed. He rose to World No. 5, breaking into the Top 5 for the first time in his career.

Known for his determined attitude, this charismatic German has become a fan favorite worldwide. Just recently, he helped secure Team Europe’s victory during the Laver Cup tournaments, retaining their title as champions.

By @EliaasMJ

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