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By Richard Pagliaro | Sunday, October 18, 2020

Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev swept Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 6-3 in the Cologne final for his 12th career title and first championship of the season.

Photo credit: @bett1hulks

Alexander Zverev extended his title streak—and expanded Felix Auger-Aliassime’s finals futility.

Firing his flat forehand with accurate ambition, Zverev broke serve four times sweeping Auger-Alissime 6-3, 6-3 to win his first title of the season on home soil in Cologne.

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It is Zverev’s 12th career title.

The 23-year-old German stretched his title streak to five straight years with at least one title.

A month ago, Zverev struggled to control his second serve as he made history at the US Open as the first man to win a Grand Slam semifinal from two sets down then lose a major final from two sets up bowing to Dominic Thiem in the first Flushing Meadows men’s final decided in a third-set tiebreaker.

Today, Zverev served solidly and drove the ball down the line off both wings with confidence to collect his third championship on German soil. Zverev dropped just one set in four tournament victories, raising his finals record to 12-8.

“I had a very tough final in New York and, the next final I played here, I wanted to come out and play my best tennis,” said Zverev after earning his first title in 17 months.

The 20-year-old Auger-Aliassime fell to 0-6 in ATP finals, losing all 12 sets he’s contested in title matches.

This final may well be a preview of future ATP finals to come, Auger-Aliassime must first clear a title hurdle.

“[It’s] disappointing, but I’ll give myself other chances,” said Auger-Aliassime after losing his third final of the season.

A classy Zverev concurred telling Auger-Aliassime: "You're not only going to win one title, but multiple titles in your career."

Today, the Canadian simply couldn’t keep the ball between the lines on pivotal points—and struggled to make inroads in Zverev service games.

The US Open finalist won 20 of 25 points played on his first serve and saved two of three break points he faced.

The top seed set the tone at the outset, breaking to open then reeling off eight straight points on serve stretching his lead to 3-1.

On the third break point of the seventh game, Auger-Aliassime crashed a backhand into the top of the tape that settled on his side of the court as Zverev scored his second break for 5-2.

Back-to-back double faults from Zverev gave the Canadian one break back.

Shrugging it off, Zverev got right back to business. Auger Aliassime sailed a backhand as Zverev erupted in a loud “come on!” scoring his third break to snatch the opening set.

Tennis Express

The Canadian warded off a break point working through a challenging seven-minute hold to forge a 2-all tie in the second set. Still, given the fact Zverev was not giving up any loose errors on key points, Auger-Aliassime would have been wise to either attack net more or try to bring his opponent forward at times.

On this day, Zverev played cleaner combinations on key points. When Auger-Aliassime netted a slice backhand, the German had his third break for a 4-2 second-set lead.

Before a crowd that included his father, Alexander Zverev, Sr., mother and stroke coach Irina Zverev, brother, Mischa Zverev and his beloved dog, Zverev closed in 79 minutes improving to 19-8 in 2020.


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