Season Portrait: Alexander Zverev
Over the course of eight days, ATPTour.com is serving up a season snapshot of the eight players who qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals. The series is illustrated by intimate portraits shot by British photographer Simon Owen. So far, we have looked at Diego Schwartzman and Andrey Rublev's year. Today, we examine Alexander Zverev's season.
The most memorable moment of Alexander Zverev’s season was also the most devastating. The 2018 Nitto ATP Finals champion reached his first Grand Slam final at the US Open, and stormed to a two-sets lead as he tried to become the youngest major winner since Juan Martin del Potro at the same event in 2009. But Thiem's shoulders began to loosen as the match wore on, better allowing him to unleash his powerful groundstrokes. And although Zverev did well to maintain his composure and take a 5-3 lead in the fifth set, he was unable to serve out the match and lift the trophy. Instead, Thiem became the first player to rally from two sets down in a US Open championship match.
Zverev arrived in Cologne with two career titles on home soil. In two weeks, without leaving the city, he doubled that total. The German triumphed at both Cologne-1 and Cologne-2, ATP 250 events added to the 2020 calendar due to COVID-19. The 23-year-old went 8-0 at the indoor hard-court tournaments, earning impressive straight-sets victories against Felix Auger-Aliassime and Diego Schwartzman in the two finals, respectively.
”Yeah, I mean, I'm 23 years old. I don't think it's my last chance. I do believe that I will be a Grand Slam champion at some point."
The Road Ahead
Zverev has maintained his place inside the Top 10 of the FedEx ATP Rankings since July 2017. Now, the German will try to return to the Top 5 for the first time since July 2019. Zverev enjoyed the best results of his Grand Slam career in 2020, reaching his first semi-final at the Australian Open and coming desperately close at Flushing Meadows. The former Nitto ATP Finals titlist and three-time ATP Masters 1000 champion will try to use those experiences to claim his maiden major hardware.
Photo: Simon Owen/Wonderhatch