Read & Watch: Sascha Shining: Zverev Retains Munich Title
German No. 1 defeats three-time champion to retain title
"I am obviously very happy with how I played," said Zverev. "[I am] very happy to get back-to-back titles here [in Munich]. It is a very special event for me so I am very happy that I could defend my title."
The top seed dropped just two points behind his second serve and converted four of his six break point chances to clinch the title for a second time after 71 minutes. The final was the first all-German championship match since Zverev lost to Florian Mayer at the 2016 Gerry Weber Open.
After successfully retaining a tour-level event for the first time, Zverev now owns seven ATP World Tour titles. The 21-year-old's last title came at the 2017 Rogers Cup (d. Federer). The World No. 3 improves to 12-3 in Munich, and 21-7 in 2018, while Kohlschreiber now owns a 33-11 record at the event, with 11 wins in 22 matches this season.
Zverev draws level at 2-2 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Kohlschreiber. The two are now 1-1 in Munich, with Zverev winning two of their three matches in Germany. Kohlschreiber was bidding for a record fourth crown in Munich in his sixth final. The 34-year-old defeated Mikhail Youzhny (2007), Marin Cilic (2012) and Dominic Thiem in his three final victories, with losses to Tommy Haas (2013) and Andy Murray (2015) in recent years. The World No. 34 has won an ATP World Tour title in six of the past seven seasons, including the previous four years.
"Losing the final is never easy or fun, especially if you see Sascha (Zverev) driving with the car, but he deserved it," admitted Kohlschreiber. "He played better [in] this final. I think he played a really good match. [It was a] great week for me and for sure I will be coming back next year."
The 21-year-old Zverev found himself 2-3 15/40 down against Kohlschreiber, but, after managing to level the scores at 3-3, won three further games without reply to take a one-set lead. After exchanging breaks early in the second set, the same pattern appeared with Zverev securing three straight games from 3-3 to lift the title as Kohlschreiber’s final forehand return landed wide and clear of the baseline.
"I had to play my best tennis to have a chance, so that is what I did," said Zverev. "At the beginning I was struggling a little bit and then I found my rhythm and felt very good on court."
Kohlschreiber had won 95 per cent of his service games (36/38) heading into the championship match, but Zverev, who entered the final with a tournament-leading 42 per cent success rate in return games, broke his countryman on four occasions to control their fourth ATP World Tour clash.
Zverev receives 250 ATP Ranking points and collects €89,435 in prize money for lifting the trophy. Kohlschreiber gains 150 points and receives €47,105.
The World No. 3 will now play back-to-back ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in Madrid and Rome, having reached the final in Miami (l. to Isner) and the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo (l. to Nishikori) on his last two appearances in Masters 1000 events.
"[I feel] quite good, obviously winning a title here [in Munich] helps," said Zverev. "I played well in Monte-Carlo so [I am] very confident and hopefully I can continue to play like I [have] played."
Did You Know?
Alexander Zverev is the third man to win consecutive BMW Open by FWU trophies. Only Argentines Guillermo Perez-Roldan and Franco Squillari had previously won successive titles in Munich.