News ID: 234508
Published: 0335 GMT November 19, 2018

Stunning Sascha takes his biggest title in London

Stunning Sascha takes his biggest title in London
Germany's Alexander Zverev holds aloft the ATP Finals trophy after winning the final against Serbia's Novak Djokovic at O2 Arena in London, Britain, on November 18, 2018.
EPA

Alexander "Sascha" Zverev became the youngest champion at the Nitto ATP Finals in a decade on Sunday, stunning World No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-3 to lift the biggest title of his career.

The 21-year-old, the youngest player to triumph at the season finale since Djokovic in 2008, was already the first German to reach the championship match at the season finale since 1996, when Boris Becker did it, nittoatpfinals.com reported.

And now Zverev is the first player from his country to lift the trophy since Becker did so in 1995, dashing Djokovic’s hopes of a perfect ending to a fairytale season in which he returned from a right elbow injury back to No. 1 in the ATP Rankings.

"This is the biggest title of my career so far. This trophy means a lot, everything, to all the players. I mean, you only have so many chances of winning it. You play against the best players only," Zverev said. "How I played today, how I won it, for me it's just amazing."

One year ago, Zverev made his debut at The O2, falling short of reaching the semifinals. But the 10-time ATP World Tour champion showed his growth, beating six-time champion Roger Federer in straight sets on Saturday and now Djokovic for the victory.

It's the first time a player has beaten both Djokovic and Federer at the same Nitto ATP Finals. Zverev's the first player to beat the top-two seeds in the semifinals and final of the event since Andre Agassi in 1990.

"It's quite astonishing, winning this title, beating two such players back-to-back, Roger and Novak, in semifinals and final," Zverev said. "It means so much. I'm incredibly happy and incredibly proud of this moment right now."

Entering the match, all signs were pointing to Djokovic tying Federer’s record of six triumphs at the season finale.

The Serbian had won 35 of his previous 37 matches entering the final, and all 36 of his service games this week at The O2. Four days ago, he had beaten Zverev with the loss of just five games in round-robin play, and he walked on Centre Court having won 14 consecutive matches against opponents inside the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings, dropping just six sets in those clashes.

"I wasn't trying to overthink it. I just tried to go out there and enjoy the match as much as I can, enjoy the atmosphere, enjoy the moment. That's what I did," Zverev said. "My serve has been working well the whole week. I had a lot of confidence in it. It all worked out well."

The German earned the only two break points Djokovic faced in his first four matches at the event in their round-robin match, but could not convert either of them. In the final, however, Zverev broke serve four times in 10 return games.

Zverev, who earns $2,509,000 and 1,300 ATP Ranking points for his efforts, will finish the year at World No. 4 for the second season in a row.

 

 

   
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