Sports

Zverev takes Cincinnati title with easy victory over Rublev

Cincinnati, August 23 (IANS) Alexander Zverev completed his dominant week at the Western & Southern Open by crossing Russia’s Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-3 to lift his fifth ATP Masters 1000 title and become the first German champion in Cincinnati since Boris Becker in 1985.

World No. 5 had never won a match in six previous appearances at the tournament, but produced high-quality tennis all week to back his Olympic singles gold medal in Tokyo and capture his fourth touring trophy of the season.

Zverev, who on Saturday (August 21) had recovered from a double break in the third set against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semi-finals, extended his winning streak to 11 matches. He also stretched his ATP head-to-head against Rublev to 5-0. The third seed was aggressive all the way against Rublev, firing six aces and winning 93 percent (26/28) of points after his first delivery to a record 59-minute victory.

Earlier this year, the 24-year-old Mutua won the Madrid Open in May to end a three-year Masters 1000 title drought, while also winning the trophy at Acapulco hard in March.

Zverev is now in ninth place for most Masters 1000 titles won since the series started in 1990 and is the first player to win the Western & Southern Open crown and Olympic singles gold medal in the same year since Andre Agassi in 1996.

In a lively match, Zverev flew out of the blocks as he played aggressively. The German had great depth and power in his groundstrokes and dictated terms from baseline as he ran to a 3-0 lead. Zverev was strong on serve throughout the first set and dropped just three points on it as he closed the opening in 27 minutes.

The second set was similar when Zverev had a counter to Rublev’s hard hitting and forced the Russian to foul.

Fourth seed Rublev competed in his second Masters 1000 final. The Russian, who won in Rotterdam in March to win his fourth ATP 500 title, earned his first victory over compatriot Daniil Medvedev on his way to the final in Cincinnati.

World No. 7 aimed to become the sixth different Russian to win a Masters 1000 title since the series began in 1990 and sixth different champion at this level this season.

–IANS

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