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By Erik Gudris | August 6, 2017


Alexander Zverev continued his speedy ascent from “Next Gen” status to “Generation Now” by claiming his fourth title of the year at the Citi Open in Washington, DC. 

“I’m “Next Gen” but the rankings say for themselves. I'm number eight in the world. I'm number four in the race to London. I’ve won four tournaments this year so I’ve shown I can play with the big guys already this year and I’m not in the future kind of guy. I’m trying to be right now,” Zverev said when asked about his “Next Gen” status given to him by the tour and the media.

Zverev, currently ranked No. 8 in the world, proved too strong from all areas of the court against No. 15 seed Kevin Anderson in Sunday’s final. Both men were playing for their first ever ATP 500 title.

Yet it was the 20-year-old Zverev who earned a 6-4, 6-4 victory against the veteran South African.

WATCH: Sock Rants About DC Court Condition

The fifth seeded Zverev, who won their previous two meetings, capitalized right away on a shaky start by Anderson in the first set. Anderson saved two break points in his opening service game. But the fifth seeded German pounced in the third game. Anderson, facing another break point, sent a overhead into the net giving Zverev a 2-1 lead.

Zverev backed up his potent returns with strong serving of his own. In addition to sizzling winners on both wings from the young German, there was little Anderson could do to stop Zverev’s momentum.

Zverev eventually wrapped up the first set 6-4 in just 36 minutes.

The second set started as the first set did with Zverev again breaking Anderson’s serve. As Anderson played catch up, he did manage to stay positive with better service games as the crowd urged him on to keep things close.

Yet Zverev never endured a let down as he moved closer to the title. Zverev fired down an ace to hold for 4-2 and would not face a break point against his serve all match. Zverev eventually served for the title up 5-4.

On match point, Zverev’s stellar backcourt game elicited one more error from Anderson. With that, Zverev celebrated the 6-4, 6-4 victory.

“I thought he served very well. Outside of the two games I got broken, I was happy with the way I played. With him playing like that I couldn’t afford to give up those two games,” Anderson said aftewards. “I was playing from behind the whole time. Definitely he played very well with having that lead in both sets.

Zverev's fine performance definitely makes him one to watch for the upcoming US Open in a few weeks.

On playing in his fifth final this year when asked if playing in finals gets any easier, Zverev said, “I feel like the longer the tournament is the better I start to play. So that’s why maybe I’m so successful in finals this year and hope that can continue to be like that.”

Washington, D.C. is the fifth overall ATP title for Zverev who also won this year in Montpelier, Munich, and Rome.


 

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