Bigger words about Alexander Zverev. At 24 years old, the German (double 6-4 to Daniil Medvedev, in 1h 15m) already has a range of prizes available to very few, with the Olympic laurel around his temples and also with the master award, this one per game double. This second arrives in Turin, accompanied by a confirmation: an important tennis player is coming. Intermittent until now, but giving prestigious bites year after year, the giant from Hamburg expands and ends the year of his consecration, who knows the one with the definitive impulse towards a higher stratum. It is demanded and expected, and it seems to have taken the real step forward.
Distinguished so far as a kind of classicist, winner in territories for specialists and denied in the big ones, the German still has the icing on the cake of a major. He was deprived of it by Dominic Thiem, last year in New York, and he fell a few steps away this season in Paris and again in New York. However, if there is a player who has resized in 2021, it is him, who will seal the year with more titles (6) and victories (59) than any. Except for Novak Djokovic’s treble and Medvedev’s baptism at the US Open, there is no bigger news than Zverev’s reappearance.
The one from Hamburg rounds off an exceptional exercise, in which, in addition to celebrating in Acapulco and Vienna, he has won prizes of a higher rank in Madrid, Canada, the Tokyo Games and this master scepter that equates the Swede Björn Borg and the Australian Lleyton Hewitt, also two, one below John McEnroe. The German prevailed in an anesthetized final that dominated from start to finish, without the need to put the turbo, enough for him to serve at a good level and take a couple of bites. Solid as ever, Zverev confirmed his level jump and his remarkable growth in the heights.
The world number three edged out two in a one-way duel and one that was colorless, no chicha, unplugged Medvedev from the start and offering no solid sign of resistance. In this way, his winning streak in the tournament was cut short – he had eight wins since the edition he won last year – and the German won another trophy. There are already 19 in his locker and in five of them there is the seal of the Masters 1000, in another the Olympic gold and in two the master wedge. He won in 2018 in London and repeats in Turin, where he also knocked out Novak Djokovic again in the semifinals.
It all happens in a strange way. The atmosphere is cold, the Turin crowd is silent and what they perceive down there, on the track, doesn’t help the afternoon to warm up either. The imbalance is clear since the German shakes his nerves, calibrates and begins to play for real. With the first two innings drawn, Zverev rallies freely and opposite, Medvedev attends like a specter, inanimate, without mordant or that guerrilla spirit that characterizes him. Medvedev is missing, or it is a hologram. Is not the. Not a single scowl, not a single gesture of rebellion. For not having, there is neither tension nor bad temper in the Russian.
Disconnection is a fact. Number two came as a shot, but inexplicably fights with blank bullets, defenseless. No fire. Too comfortable for his rival, too placid the afternoon for Zverev, who rides with the ground he has been gaining throughout the year, this year of stretch. Everything comes out in German, who scratches the first break to the third game, aided by the tape, and then he dispatches each duty shift with ease, concentrated and confident, but without that haughtiness with which he used to get along until recently. The turn is radical and, in this version, Zverev is already serious. It would be real.
Dethroned Medvedev, who had beaten him five days earlier in the pulse corresponding to the group stage, the number three stands as the leader of the intermediate generation and is highlighted by the hand of the Russian as the short-term references, with Stefanos Tsitsipas following the wake. “There is no better way to go on vacation,” says Zverev in his fantastic moment, boasting a service record that includes the knockdowns of Djokovic (4 times), Roger Federer (4) and Rafael Nadal (3). With a hectic personal life – he was denounced by his ex-partner for mistreatment – the tower (1.98) is inspired as never before by the slopes and continues to make his way.
You can follow EL PAÍS DEPORTES in Facebook and Twitter, or sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.