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Watch highlights of the 2017 BMW Open by FWU final, featuring Alexander Zverev and Guido Pella in Munich. Photo: Getty Images

Zverev Captures First Home Title In Munich

20 year old wins third career crown

#NextGenATP German Alexander Zverev showed his home fans precisely why much of the tennis world believes he'll reach the top of the ATP World Tour in the near future.

After a slow start, the 20 year old rolled through the BMW Open by FWU final on Sunday in Munich, winning 10 of the final 13 games to beat Argentine Guido Pella 6-4, 6-3. The title is Zverev's second of the season and his third in the past nine months.

The 6'6” right-hander won the St. Petersburg Open last September (d. Wawrinka) and the Open Sud de France crown earlier this year in February (d. Gasquet). Zverev becomes the sixth player to have won at least two titles this season.

Player Titles
Roger Federer 3
Alexander Zverev 2
Grigor Dimitrov 2
Rafael Nadal 2
Jack Sock 2
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 2

Sunday's title had a little extra meaning to Zverev and his family. The Munich title is his first ATP World Tour crown on home soil. The Hamburg native becomes the sixth different German to win the Munich title since 1974.

“I lost the final in Halle last year (to Florian Mayer), which was very painful. I really wanted to win a tournament in Germany, which I've done now and I'm very happy about it. Obviously my first title on clay as well. It's a great feeling right now,” Zverev said.

German

Munich Titles

Alexander Zverev

2017

Philipp Kohlschreiber

2007, 2012, 2016

Tommy Haas

2013

Michael Stich

1994

Rolf Gehring

1980

Jurgen Fassbender

1974

It didn't always look so promising for Zverev on Sunday, though. Rain delayed the title match for more than two hours, and Pella was the quicker starter in the heavy conditions.

The Argentine left-hander, who was going for his first ATP World Tour title, broke Zverev to start the match and held to lead 4-2. But Zverev erased two break points in the next game and then came alive at 3-4.

With Pella serving, Zverev smacked a forehand winner up the line to lead 30/0 and celebrated with a fist pump and a “Come on!”. He'd break back two points later and looked to have found his rhythm on the Munich clay.

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The #NextGenATP star moved Pella around the court and used his full reportoire of shots, blasting forehand winners but mixing in backhand drop shots as well. Zverev closed out the final with a service winner after 73 minutes.

The title will help Zverev pad his lead in the Emirates ATP Race To Milan, which will determine seven of the eight 21-and-under players who compete at the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. The eighth player will be determined by a wild card. Zverev currently leads the Race with 700 points.

With the Munich crown, Zverev will receive 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points and €85,945. He is projected to climb to a new career high at No. 17 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.

“I'm confident. I'm playing well so hopefully I can keep going and play some great tennis in the upcoming weeks,” Zverev said. 

Pella's perfect stretch in Munich ends after the Argentine reached his second ATP World Tour final. The left-hander won six matches, including qualifying, in Munich. He will receive 150 Emirates ATP Rankings points and €45,265.

“It was an amazing week for me,” Pella said. “[I'm] sad that I didn't win today but I played against a great player, a great champion.”