October 26, 2020
Alexander “Sascha” Zverev is showing the sort of form that will make him a serious contender in London next month.
The powerful German crushed the normally-formidable Diego Schwartzman 6-2, 6-1 to win back-to-back titles in Cologne.
The improving Zverev added another ATP 250 title to last week’s crown, closing out with a typically-destructive forehand.
No wonder he then joked that he wished all tournaments took place in Germany.
Zverev turned on the indoor style a couple of weekends ago to triumph against rising star Felix Auger-Aliassime.
But his performance against Schwartzman was even better and he didn’t serve a single double fault.
Sportingly, it was Schwartzman who best put his rival’s success into words.
The South American said of Sascha: ‘He deserved to win here last week and today he was perfect on court.’
Zverev has a feeling he’s taking giant strides forward in his own development.
He explained: ‘Today was the day when I felt like I could try things out on court and a lot of things were working. I’m obviously very happy with the way I played.’
When you consider that Zverev has already won the ATP Tour Finals, he must be one of the favourites as we approach this year’s tournament.
The 2018 champion will face tough competition from the likes of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, of course.
But on his day, Sascha can beat absolutely everyone. Encouragingly, he said of his current form: ‘It’s getting better and I think we’re going to be on top of the game very soon.’
Why shouldn’t superstar Zverev thrive at Wimbledon 2021 too?
The German’s Grand Slam form definitely improved overall this year.
He was a semi-finalist at the Australian Open. And he came so close to winning the US Open final in a classic against Dominic Thiem.
True, Zverev’s performance fell away a little in cold conditions at the recent French Open.
But he now has thirteen tour-level titles under his belt. And his record since the ATP show got back on the road in August is a highly-impressive win-loss ratio of 17-3.
Come next summer, the statuesque Zverev will surely be a front-runner at Wimbledon 2021.
That’s going to be great for tennis. Zverev certainly has that natural, next-generation charisma.
Meanwhile the weekend saw another popular title-winner in Ugo Humbert.
And no one could say the Frenchman didn’t deserve his European Open trophy.
Not after he saved an extraordinary four match points against British fighter Dan Evans in the Antwerp semi-final.
Another feisty customer provided the final opposition for Humbert in Belgium.
Australia’s Alex de Minaur is undoubtedly a future star of our sport. But his comeback bid couldn’t stop Humbert, who triumphed 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) to seal the deal.
Zverev will remain centre-stage in the coming weeks, however.
In fact two trips to London in the next nine months may cement Sascha’s position at the top of the game.
First the ATP Tour Finals. Then the biggest event of them all, Wimbledon 2021. We hope you will be there to follow his progress.