ROME, May 21, 2017
#NextGenATP star Alexander Zverev won his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title, beating Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia 6-4, 6-3.
In their first tour meeting, the 16th seed from Germany sent down seven aces, winning 84 per cent of his first service points to seal victory in one hour and 21 minutes without facing a break point.
This is how the #NextGenATP 🌟 won his first ATP Masters 1000 crown….
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) 21. Mai 2017
The 20-year-old becomes the youngest winner in Rome since a 19-year-old Rafael Nadal prevailed in 2006 and the youngest Masters 1000 winner since a 19-year-old Djokovic won Miami in 2007.
Zverev is also the first player born in the 1990s to win a Masters crown. The milestone title pushes the youngster inside the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings for the first time.
“I’m very happy with the way I played and my performance all week, I think today was one of the best matches I ever played… I knew I had to be aggressive from the first point to the last. It was very important for me to be able to stay this aggressive and not let him take over the game,” told Zverev, who who earns €820,035 in prize money as well as 1000 ATP Ranking points, and added:
“I’m very happy, very, very happy to win this title, which is one of the biggest tournaments in the world, especially on clay, which is always very, very tough mentally and physically.”
Djokovic, appearing in his fourth consecutive Rome final, dropped to 4-4 on the final Sunday at this event and 30-13 in Masters 1000 finals. The Serbian was seeking his first Masters 1000 title since last July at the Rogers Cup (d. Nishikori) and first ATP World Tour title since his opening event of the season in Doha (d. Murray).
“He served very well. I just wasn’t able to get any rhythm on my returns. If we would get into a rally, he would smash the ball from the first or second shot… There is no doubt he took time away from me. It happens. If he serves this well and this efficiently, it’s tough to play him on any surface,” Djokovic said.
Frenchmen Take Doubles Title
French tandem of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut won the doubles title, winning the final 4-6, 6-4, 10-3 against Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Marcel Granollers from Spain. The encounter lasted one hour and 34 minutes.
“It’s good to enjoy being on the court so much, it’s been a while since I felt we were close… It’s nice to live this together. From the start to the end, the attitude was very good. We stayed together and were calm all the time,” Herbert told.
“Pierre-Hugues really held it for us at the start of the week, and I had my best match in the final. It’s a great reward for us,” Mahut added.