German tennis sensation Alexander Zverev may be only 19 years old, but the teenager has won his first ever ATP title at the St. Petersburg Open, beating US Open winner and World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka to the title.
24th-ranked Berdych also beat former top-5 player Mikhail Youzhny and top-10 Tomas Berdych in the earlier stages of the tournament, and he has long been pipped as a future World No. 1.
Earlier this year, Alexander ‘Sascha' Zverev beat Roger Federer at the semi-finals of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany, losing surprisingly to compatriot Florian Mayer – but even that had been a hard-fought win for the older Mayer.
Now, Zverev has won his first-ever ATP title at the ATP250 series St. Petersburg Open. The Open has seen some illustrious winners over the years – Andy Murray, Marin Cilic, World No. 1s Thomas Johansson, Marat Safin and then some. It isn't an easy field, and still, Zverev managed to conquer that field with aplomb.
Zverev, the youngest player in the ATP top 50, is already in the top half of the top 30 and climbing quickly – with not a large deficit between him and the players he is chasing, all older and more experienced on the tour than himself in years.
11 – Zverev broke US Open winner Stan Wawrinka’s winning streak of making 11 finalswith his title win in Russia. The Swiss had won 11 on the trot through the US Open and St. Petersburg, with his young German rival – described, funnily enough, as reminiscent of Federer, breaking that streak.
Roger Federer leads that all-time streak, with 24.
19 years, 5 months – is how old Sascha Zverev is having won his first title. He is one of a select few to win ATP titles as a teenager. 19 years, 5 months is also how old Roger Federer was when he won his own first title at the ATP Indoor in Milan in 2001.
Six – Other teenagers in the last decade have won ATP titles. It’s not a bad crew at all – Zverev rubs shoulders here with Marin Cilic, the massively reurgent Juan Martin del Potro, Kei Nishikori, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, and....Novak Djokovic.
Every single one of them is either a top 5 player or a Major champion. That’s an immensely promising sign for the young player, whose father and older brother are both professional tennis players, although his father retired early. Older brother Mischa, who is 29, is still active on the circuit, and plays doubles with his sibling.
Three – The number of finals Zverev has played on the ATP circuit (including St. Petersburg), the exact number Roger Federer played before his own first title.
One – The number of ATP World Tour trophies Alexander Zverev has – but that's only so far! Already making finals and defeating top-10 players in straight sets, Zverev is well on his way to becoming one of the top-ranked players of his generation – if not, arguably, the best of the current crop. A consistency seen in many players far senior to himself and hard work have earned Zverev plaudits from tennis watchers, pundits and his fellow players – and it will be surprising if the young ace does not hit the top 10 very soon.