Alexander Zverev emulates tennis legend in stunning 25-year first

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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Alexander Zverev became the first player to win the Cincinnati Open and Olympic gold in the same year since Andre Agassi in 1996. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Alexander Zverev became the first player to win the Cincinnati Open and Olympic gold in the same year since Andre Agassi in 1996. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Alexander Zverev secured a slice of tennis history with his win in the Cincinnati Open on Monday morning, continuing his perfect tune-up ahead of the US Open.

The German world No.4 outclassed Andrey Rublev 6-2 6-3 just a day after his gruelling and somewhat controversial semi-final win over Stefanos Tsitsipas.

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The match lasted just 59 minutes, a welcome result for Zverev after a gruelling three-set battle 24 hours earlier.

Zverev committed just five unforced errors while improving to 5-0 in his career against his good friend Rublev - all straight-set wins.

While the result was hardly what Rublev would have liked, it propelled Zverev into rarified air occupied by only one other player in the sport's history.

With the Cincinnati Open win, Zverev became just the second player to win that tournament and an Olympic gold medal in the same year.

The last player to do so was Andre Agassi, back in 1996.

With the likes of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal skipping the US Open due to injuries, Zverev looms as one of the biggest threats to stop Novak Djokovic from completing a calendar grand slam.

While he's discovered a rich vein of form ahead of the final grand slam of the year, Zverev said he didn't want to get ahead of himself.

"I was playing pretty good tennis," Zverev was quoted saying on the ATP website.

"I did not do a big celebration because I know how Andrey feels as well because we have been best friends since we were 11 years old and I know he is seeking his first Masters 1000 win, but it is going to come very soon I think.

"I don't want to get ahead of myself yet. I won the gold medal and just won a Masters, which I am very happy about and am looking forward to New York."

The result will take Zverev - who had failed to win a match in Cincinnati in six previous appearances before this year - above the inactive Rafael Nadal to world No.4 with the final grand slam of 2021 looming.

For world No.7 Rublev, defeat was his second loss in a Masters 1000 final as his quest for a maiden title at this level continues.

Medvedev crashes into camera in shock loss

A collision with an on-court camera has spelled disaster for world No.2 Daniil Medvedev, who lost to fellow Russian Andrey Rublev in their Cincinnati Open semi-final.

The compatriots were tied 1-1 in the second set when Medvedev crashed into an on-court camera and knocked it to the ground while chasing the ball at the baseline.

Medvedev offered his hand to the camera operator as the chair umpire walked over to make sure both were OK.

Medvedev then kicked the camera, telling the umpire, "Take it away. I almost broke my hand," and insisting the camera be moved.

Medvedev, who won the tournament in 2019, did not meet with the media after his 6-2 3-6 3-6 defeat to his fellow Russian on Saturday.

"It will be better if we have more space on court that allowed us to run everywhere we can, because sometimes (what) happens also to me that I want to hit and I cannot hit because the referee is standing there," Rublev told reporters.

With AAP

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