The rise of Alexis Zverev, Andy Murray and the changing of the guard on tennis

Written by Staff Writer, CNN

New face on the tennis scene Alex Zverev is currently conquering the ATP Tour.

He collected a first-ever career ATP Finals victory in London this week, beating Roger Federer in the semifinals and then American Jack Sock in the final.

The win was also the first for 19-year-old German Zverev over the legendary Swiss maestro and sits firmly on his resume alongside his recent Wimbledon win over Kevin Anderson.

“To beat Roger it is pretty special for me personally, because I’m not a big Roger fan in general,” Zverev said of his win.

“He’s the greatest tennis player of all time and he’s helped my career quite a lot, and I feel like we’ve had some long matches in the past and it makes me feel very comfortable.”

Zverev in London

The youngster from Bad Hersfeld, Germany — who won a record fourth Junior Grand Slam last year — is now ranked number two in the world.

He is tipped to become one of the most in-demand faces at future ATP events, which will be the surest route to winning his first grand slam title.

An ‘up and coming’

Only Novak Djokovic (11) and Rafael Nadal (7) — the only players with more major trophies in the record books — have won all four Grand Slams by the age of 21.

Zverev only broke into the ATP’s top 100 last year and spent last season on the Challenger circuit. But he made waves on the hard court in 2018, winning back-to-back titles at Toronto and Cincinnati.

“I feel like I had a pretty good year, and overall my results are playing really well,” said Zverev.

“I’m in really good form at the moment, and obviously I have a lot of support behind me and it feels great on court. In general, I’m just enjoying the journey so far.”

Progression he’s achieved this season, including his Federer win, could also open doors for him to compete for a maiden major at the 2022 Australian Open.

“I think the average grand slam win is about 24 now, maybe 25. Maybe 26. I think it’s going to get a lot higher,” he said.

“I think my career could be a lot further along than it is today. So I’d like to get there as soon as possible, but I definitely think I’ve got a lot of work to do to get there.”

An ascent

The sports broadcaster Eurosport noted on its Twitter account that World Junior Player of the Year (2016) and German Junior Player of the Year (2017) — among other awards — had been credited with the resolution that Zverev would someday win a grand slam title.

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