Alexander Zverev Wins First Crown in Vienna, Overpowers Tiafoe

Alexander Zverev Wins First Crown in Vienna, Overpowers Tiafoe Photo: TT
Alexander Zverev, right, and Frances Tiafoe display their trophies at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna, Austria, Sunday, Oct.31, 2021. Photo Credit: AP Photo/Lisa Leutner.

World number four Alexander Zverev maintains momentum, earning his fifth tour-level title this season, defeating first-time ATP 500 finalist Frances Tiafoe at the Erste Bank Open final.

In their seventh career meeting, Alexander Zverev overcame World No. 49 Frances Tiafoe in straight sets 7-5, 6-4 after one hour and 36 minutes in Vienna, keeping a flawless record of five wins in five finals this year.

In his on-court interview, Zverev talked about his rival: “I would like to congratulate you for this week. I’m sure there is still a lot to come, and I don’t want to see you in the top 30 or top 20 in the future but in the top 10. Tennis needs guys like you, and I am sure you will make it even further if you pull yourself together.”

The showdown saw how the second seed and the U.S. qualifier rallied in a tight opening set, which the former won 7-5 in 47 minutes.

Aiming to capture his 18th career title, the German got off to a strong start, breaking his adversary at 3-1 to take the lead, and though Tiafoe battled his way through to level up the tie at 4-4, he could not stop Zverev from taking the first set.

The Olympic gold medalist hit 11 aces, 17 winners, nine unforced errors, winning 80 percent on his first-service points.

The second set started as a replica of the opener, with the 24-year-old taking the advantage early on, making good use of his powerful serve.

Nonetheless, the American raised his level, managing to level the tie 2-2, an effort awarded by the spectators with a massive round of applause.

Albeit Tiafoe fought hard, leaving it all on the tennis court, he made mistakes he couldn’t afford against a player who is at the best form of his career, and even so, he moved forward to even the score at 4-4.

However, Zverev did not let slip his 52nd victory while improving to 5-0 in the ATP Tour finals this season, closing out the set 6-4.

For his part, the 23-year-old American enjoyed a magnificent week in Austria, overpowering big names such as top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas (second round), ranked No. 16 Diego Schwartzman (quarter-finals), and seventh seed Jannik Sinner in the semi-final.

Once the championship match concluded, Tiafoe outlined: “It was the best week of my entire career, and it’s nice that the fans enjoyed it so much. It’s a very emotional moment for me, just unbelievable.”

Speaking about Zverev, he commented: “I hope we can still play many games against each other. I am sure you will win many more Grand Slams and become number 1 one day.”

On Sunday, the Hamburg native captured his second ATP 500 title of 2021 - the first since March in Acapulco.

In addition, he lifted two ATP Masters 1000 trophies in 2021, Madrid and Cincinnati, also becoming a gold medalist in Tokyo.

On his way to the final in Vienna, he moved past Filip Krajinovic, Alex De Minaur, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Carlos Alcaraz and Tiafoe.

Only Zverev and Casper Ruud have claimed five ATP titles so far this season.

The next stop is the Rolex Paris Masters; the ATP 1000 tournament is held at the Palais Omnisports in Bercy, from 1-7 November.

Cecilia demartini
Sports Pundit staff writer @ceci_2812
Cecilia is a writer and journalist, passionate about motorsport and tennis.Her articles are published in newspapers and international online publications.

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