Alexander Zverev has beaten the world’s top two in consecutive days to take his second title at the ATP Finals and send an ominous warning to the rest of the men’s tour.
After knocking out the world’s No. 1 Novak Djokovic over three sets in the semifinals, Zverev put in a dominant performance in Sunday’s season-ending finale by beating No. 2 Daniil Medvedev 6-4 6-4.
The title seals a decent year for Zverev, who also won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics and has now closed 2021 with more wins on tour – 59, one more than Medvedev – than anyone else.
The main thing missing from Zverev’s trophies collection remains a grand slam trophy after losing an epic final to Dominic Thiem in the US Open last year, but he looks like the man to beat at the Australian Open in Melbourne.
The final was a rematch of a round-robin encounter on Tuesday, when Medvedev defeated Zverev in a tiebreaker in the third set.
This one went in the direction of Zverev from the get-go, as the 1.98-metre German crushed a massive backhand to the corner, then beat a power cord winner to break Medvedev’s serve in the third game of the match.
Aided by the fast-paced conditions in the Pala Alpitour, Zverev was virtually untouchable on his serve, winning 20 out of 25 points on his first set delivery.
Zverev broke again in the opening game of the second set, then gained such confidence that he began to execute daring swinging volley winners while occasionally following his serve to the net.
This was the first edition of the season-ending event for the top eight players in Turin – after 12 years in London, where Zverev won his first final title in 2018.
Previously, French pair Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut won the doubles title by beating Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury 6-4 7-6 (7-0).