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By Erik Gudris | Saturday, August 5, 2017

Alexander Zverev appears to be on an unstoppable match to yet another ATP title this year. Zverev took the next step there by reaching his first Citi Open final in Washington, DC with a comprehensive win over No. 2 seed Kei Nishikori.

ATP: Anderson Halts Sock to Reach DC Final

“It would mean a lot to me,” Zverev said about possibly winning in D.C. “We are going into three big events Montreal, Cincinnati, and US Open so starting the hard court season with a win would be great.”

While the local crowd tried to cheer on Nishikori, it was clear that his long week finally caught up with him. That included winning an early morning third round battle with Juan Martin del Potro and surviving a surprising three-set quartefinal against American wildcard Tommy Paul.

It didn’t help either that Zverev started out strong and enjoyed one of his best serving performances all week. Zverev jumped out early by winning the first eight points to take a quick 2-0 lead.

Zverev didn’t let Nishikori control things from the backcourt either. The fifth seeded German owned many of their extended rallies during points, before often winning them with sizzling winners, including a crowd pleasing forehand winner to go up 4-1.

Zverev hit another deep forehand to close out the set 6-3.

Zverev was nearly perfect as he painted several lines with his shots. A sharp down the line forehand winner gave him an early service break in the second set.

Nishikori started playing a bit better as the crowd urged him on to make the match more competitive. But Zverev never faced a break point all night and was only pushed to 30-all in any of his service games.

Zverev fired down several more huge serves down the stretch to set up his first match point. Zverev struck a potent backhand in the far corner to clinch the convincing 6-3, 6-4 win in just over an hour.

“He played great tennis,” Nishikori said after the loss. About his earlier matches and their late finishes, he said, “It’s no excuse but these matches - have one finish at two a.m. - it wasn’t easy. But he played great tennis today. I didn’t have much chance on my return game. He did really well.”

On his up and down season, Nishikori said, “I don’t feel like last year yet but if I keep playing more matches I think my tennis will be back.”

Zverev next faces No. 15 seed Kevin Anderson in the final. He expects a tough match for what could be either man’s first ATP 500 title.

“He has been playing unbelievable tennis. He won against Dominic (Thiem) in a great match, he beat Jack Sock today. You know it’s going to be a tough final and hopefully I can play as well as I have today and hopefully get out with a win.”


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