Alexander Zverev won his second title at the ATP Finals and the first since London in 2018 by playing a stunning final match to defeat defending champion Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 6-4 in one hour 15 minutes.
The win in Torino which hosted the ATP Finals for the first time, is his sixth title of the year, including the Olympic gold medal, which is more than any other player on the men’s tour, he moves ahead of Medvedev for most match wins in 2021, that was his 59th and he has ended a run of outs coming into the final.
Sascha had not beaten Medvedev in exactly two years – the last was at the 2019 ATP Finals. Since then, Daniil had won five times against the German. Two of them were this month with one of those being in the round robin competition of this tournament.
“My emotions couldn't be much better, to be honest,” Zverev said. “I'm happy, obviously happy with how the season went. I'm happy with the finish of the season. It was obviously a great year. To capture the title here has been incredible.
“You go into the match knowing that you're playing one of the two best players in the world. I knew that I had to play my best tennis to beat him. I did that. I think I played a very good match. I'm happy with my level. I'm happy with the performance I had. Of course, I mean, was a good match from my side.”
Zverev has become only the fourth player in the event’s 52-year history to beat the world’s top two players in the semis and final having accounted for Novak Djokovic in the semis. The last man to achieve that statistic was Andre Agassi in 1990.
Zverev added: “I kind of have succeeded on every single level, and there's one thing missing. I hope I can do that next year.” The majors are waiting.
This final marked the first time since 2005 in Shanghai that neither finalist was over the age of 25 – on that last occasion the two were David Nalbandian who was 23 and he defeated a 24-year-old named Roger Federer.
The big difference in the final was the serve. Zverev was right on the money with his. It seems so long ago that he was struggling with his serve and getting frustrated with the number of double faults he would hit in a match. In the final his first serve was at 74% and he won 83% of those points. That was huge…. And he did not face a break point.
By contrast Medvedev just was not comfortable with his serve. His percentage on first serves was down at 59%. The Russian could not quite explain what the problem was for him.
“I think on this court serve is really important,” Medvedev said. “I didn't feel amazing. Tough to say. Maybe some tiredness of the body. Maybe just mentally was not a hundred percent. Not that I didn't want to be. But, yeah, definitely something was missing. I don't have the answer to be honest what.
“It made a difference. Even when it was in, was not really going on the line, didn't have this spark, if we can say like this, on it. Wasn't enough. Sascha is a great player to be able to break me two times, which actually sometimes is in a way not too bad.
“When you play in a Masters final on a fast surface, somebody serving like Sascha, it's enough to win the match. For me, can talk about many things, but the serve was definitely the key today, and he was better at it.”
Zverev has earned $US2,143,000 for winning the championship.
The doubles title went to the French duo of Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, they defeated Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury 6-4, 7-6. For the Frenchmen it was also their second time with the title, they won it in 2019.