Zverev Downs Tiafoe For Vienna Crown
Alexander Zverev maintained his dominant form since Wimbledon on Sunday at the Erste Bank Open, overcoming American Frances Tiafoe 7-5, 6-4 to clinch his fifth trophy of the year.
The second seed, who moved past #NextGenATP stars Felix Auger-Aliassime and Carlos Alcaraz en route to the final, won 80 per cent (37/46) of his first-serve points and stepped inside the baseline to dictate on his forehand against Tiafoe, securing his victory in one hour and 36 minutes.
“He didn’t let me play the way I wanted to play, tactically he was very good,” Zverev said. “But I am happy with the win and I am happy with my fifth title of the year and I am happy with my first in Vienna, so it was a good day.”
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The German now holds a 25-2 record since Wimbledon and has extended his ATP Head2Head series lead against Tiafoe to 6-1. The 24-year-old earned his 300th tour-level career win against Australian Alex de Minaur this week.
“I think the Olympics gave me a lot of confidence and I believe I can compete for any title that I play in,” Zverev added. “I am happy with the form I am in but I have got two more massive weeks ahead of me and I hope I can do well.”
Earlier this season, Zverev triumphed at ATP Masters 1000 events in Madrid and Cincinnati and also won the singles gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Zverev has won all five finals that he has competed in this year. The only other time the World No. 4 won five tour-level crowns in a season was in 2017.
In a lively start, breaks the players exchanged breaks as they tried to find their rhythm from the baseline. Zverev looked to stay close to the baseline and overpower Tiafoe, while the American played with great variety and closed the net effectively to cause the 24-year-old problems.
After Zverev found the breakthrough in the 12th game of the first set to move ahead, he continued to play aggressively. The German hit eight aces in the second set to secure his victory in an entertaining match.
Tiafoe rallied from a set and 2-5 down against Italian Jannik Sinner to book his spot in the championship match but was unable to come back against Zverev. The World No. 49 has earned a career-best 29 tour-level victories this season and was aiming to win his first tour-level trophy since triumphing in Delray Beach in 2018.
“I knew I was capable of a week like this,” Tiafoe said. “It is not easy to beat good player after good player. These guys are so good. To have a week like this and know you can do it and not just beat one top player but three great guys is great.”