©

Watch highlights of Alexander Zverev beating Kevin Anderson to win the 2017 Citi Open in Washington, D.C. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com. Photo: Mike Lawrence/Citi Open

Zverev Dominates To Claim Citi Open Title

Zverev captures fifth title in past 11 months

Before this week, outdoor hard courts had been the lone surface Alexander Zverev hadn't yet had success on during his career. But if his dominating week at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. is a sign, he's well on his way to mastering those conditions as well.

The #NextGenATP German dropped only one set all week in the U.S. capital and finished the stretch with an exclamation point, beating South African Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-4 on Sunday to win his first ATP World Tour 500 title.

The 20-year-old Zverev has now won four titles this season – the Open Sud de France (indoor hard), the BMW Open by FWU (outdoor clay) and the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 in Rome (outdoor clay) – and five since September (St. Petersburg Open, indoor hard). He's the youngest player to win four titles in a season since Juan Martin del Potro in 2008. This season, only two men have won as many or more tour-level crowns: Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

“I think I improved a lot in the last few months and in this off-season so I can be able to win these kinds of tournaments,” Zverev said. “I showed in Rome and I'm showing it here again. I just hope I can continue playing well like this or even make it better in the summer. We'll see what the next few big tournaments hold for me.”

2017 ATP World Tour Title Leaders

Place

Player

Titles

1

Roger Federer

5

2

Rafael Nadal

4

3

Alexander Zverev

4

4

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

3

5

Novak Djokovic

2

 

Gilles Muller

2

 

Lucas Pouille

2

8

Dominic Thiem

1

 

Stan Wawrinka

1

 

Marin Cilic

1

The Citi Open crown continues what has been a breakout season for the #NextGenATP German. He entered the week at a career-high No. 8 in the Emirates ATP Rankings and will firmly remain there with his first 500-level title. Zverev will also improve his positions in both season-long races.

Zverev is expected to jump to fourth place in the Emirates ATP Race To London, ahead of Swiss Stan Wawrinka and just 270 points behind third-placed Dominic Thiem. He'll pad his lead in the Emirates ATP Race To Milan, which will determine seven of the eight players who compete at the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held 7-11 November in Milan. He'll take home 500 Emirates ATP Rankings points and $355,460 in prize money for the Washington crown.

You May Also Like: Querrey Completes Mexican Double With Los Cabos Title

The title is also his first with new coach Juan Carlos Ferrero by his side. Read More: Zverev Impresses, Surprises New Coach Ferrero

“I obviously want to improve as fast and as much as I can until I'm at the top of the game. That's what I'm trying to do. But it's not in my hands,” Zverev said.

Anderson had delivered big win after big win in his first run to a final since 2015 Winston-Salem, having saved a match point to beat Dominic Thiem in the quarter-finals and having beaten Jack Sock in straight sets during the semi-finals. But the 31 year old couldn't trouble Zverev on Sunday as the German rode early breaks in both sets to victory.

The fifth-seeded Zverev pressured Anderson's serve throughout, seeing six break points and converting two of them. On his serve, Zverev cruised. He never faced a break point and won 82 per cent of his service points (40/49), including 88 per cent of his first-serve offerings (30/34).

Players Younger Than 21 to Win Four-Plus Titles in a Season (since 1992)

Player

Titles

Year

Alexander Zverev

4

2017

Juan Martin del Potro

4

2008

Novak Djokovic

5

2007

Rafael Nadal

4

2007

Rafael Nadal

5

2006

Rafael Nadal

11

2005

Andy Roddick

5

2003

Lleyton Hewitt

7

2001

Lleyton Hewitt

4

2000

Marat Safin

7

2000

Note: Nadal in 2007 won two titles after turning 21 and Roddick in 2003 won one title after turning 21.

“It didn't feel like he gave me a whole lot. I thought he served very well. Outside of the two games I got broken, I was pretty happy with the way I played. But with him playing like that I couldn't afford to give up those two serve games,” Anderson said.

The South African, who had hit 62 aces coming into Sunday's final, didn't have the same success on serve against Zverev. The German especially pounced on Anderson's second serve, winning nearly 60 per cent of his second-serve return points. Anderson will receive 300 Emirates ATP Rankings points and $174,265 in prize money.

“I think I can take a ton of positives from this week, and I've been able to do that for the past few tournaments. That's definitely a big encouragement for me,” Anderson said. “I played some of my best tennis here. I feel like some of the stuff I've been working on is really starting to shine through more and more on the match court.”