Alexander Zverev has beaten the world’s top two in consecutive days to earn his second title at the ATP Finals and send out an ominous warning to the rest of the men’s tour.
After eliminating world number one Novak Djokovic over three sets in the semi-finals, Zverev put on a dominant performance in Sunday’s end-of-season final in Turin, beating number two Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 6-4.
The title puts the seal on quite a year for Zverev, who also won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics and who has now finished 2021 with more wins on tour — 59, one more than Medvedev — than anyone else.
The main thing missing in Zverev’s trophy collection remains a grand slam trophy, having lost an epic final to Dominic Thiem in last year’s US Open final.
But he looks like the man to beat at the Australian Open in Melbourne.
“There’s no better way to end the season than winning here,” Zverev said. “I’m also now very much looking forward to next year already.”
“He is a great player that is capable of beating anybody. He definitely can win a grand slam,” Medvedev said.
The final was a rematch of a round-robin encounter on Tuesday, when Medvedev beat Zverev in a third-set tiebreaker.
This one went Zverev’s way from the start, as the 1.98-metre German crushed a huge backhand to the corner then gained from a net-cord winner to break Medvedev’s serve in the third game of the match.
Helped by fast conditions inside the Pala Alpitour, Zverev was virtually untouchable on his serve, winning 20 of 25 points on his delivery in the first set.
Zverev broke again in the opening game of the second set then grew so confident that he began executing audacious swinging-volley winners as he followed his serve to the net on occasion.
This marked 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 finals title in 2018.
Earlier, the French pair of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut won the doubles title by beating Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury 6-4, 7-6 (7/0).