It was a battle between the youngest and the oldest player on the tour – Alexander Zverev (20 years) and John Isner (32 years). Naturally, one wondered whether Zverev would continue with his winning ways or John Isner would come out as the winner, with his 10 years of experience coming to his aid. But at the end of the match, it was the young Zverev who finished on the top. With this win, Alexander Zverev reached his 1st ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.
Isner and Zverev train together in Tampa, Florida in the off-season. However, it was all competition when they had set foot on the court for their semi-final match. Zverev broke Isner early on in the game and went on to win the 1st set in less than 30 minutes. Isner was quick to respond with a powerful front in the second set. His smart serve and volley game was good enough for him to push the second set to the tie break. In the tie break, he eased past Zverev to win the set and move the game to the 3rd/ deciding set.
In the deciding set, however, Zverev went all guns blazing at Isner. As Isner struggled to win games, Zverev clenched the set 6-1. With his emphatic 3rd set win, Zverev became the youngest Masters 1000 finalist since the 19-year old Novak Djokovic in 2007. Novak had won the Miami Open presented by Itau final that year.
Within 3 years of turning pro, Zverev has managed to gain immense popularity. In October 2016, he became the youngest player to enter the ATP top 20 since Djokovic in 2006. And a win in the final on Sunday can help him break into the ATP top 10. Irrespective of the result of the Sundays final, Zverev will reach his all time career best ranking – 14.
On his way to his 1st Masters 1000 final, Zverev comfortably defeated the current world no. 6 Milos Raonic in two sets. His win over Raonic is a testament to his capability of winning important matches against the best players. In the finals on Sunday, he will meet the current World no. 2 Novak Djokovic. Djokovic’s win in the semis has set the very first match between him and Zverev. It will be interesting to see what tactics Jr. Zverev will employ to fight against the very best in Tennis. Djokovic has been struggling to keep up his form since the beginning of 2017. This makes the battle of Sunday even more thrilling.
Going by the way Zverev is winning matches we all can expect to see many interesting battles between him and the other top ranked players. We are happy to applaud the young German for his extra-ordinary efforts.