Alexander Zverev is a German tennis player whose talent and power are such that he has been earmarked as a future World No. 1 right since the time he turned 18.
Nicknamed 'Sascha', Zverev had his breakthrough year in 2017 when he won two ATP Masters 1000 titles, defeating Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in the finals. He has since cracked the top 5 of the ATP singles rankings, and is expected to eventually climb to the top spot too.
Best finish at each of the four Grand Slams:
Australian Open: 3rd Round (2017, 2018)
French Open: Quarterfinalist (2018)
Wimbledon: 4th Round (2017)
US Open: 3rd Round (2018)
Highest Ranking: No. 3
Style of play
Zverev is an aggressive baseliner who uses his height and power to send the ball consistently deep and push his opponents on the backfoot.
Zverev's game is heavily dependent on his serve, which he hits flat and hard. His backhand is also very flat and forceful, while his forehand has relatively more topspin.
Zverev doesn't come to the net a lot, but he has publicly declared that he wants to incorporate more net play into his game. He also doesn't vary his shots too much, although he does unearth a drop shot or a sliced forehand every once in a while.
Strengths and weaknesses
Zverev's backhand is his biggest weapon; he can hit it either crosscourt or down the line with tremendous disguise, and uses it to keep his opponents off-balance.
The German has a terrific serve too. He take advantage of his towering height to hit the ball with pace on both the first and the second serve, often getting free points off it.
Zverev is quite agile for a tall guy, and has been known to produce some scintillating defense against more powerful opponents. He also has good court awareness, and can anticipate the direction of his opponents' shots very well.
Zverev's forehand is perhaps his biggest weakness. The shot is relatively loopy and inconsistent, and is not the best tool to put away short balls.
Zverev also struggles to hit his volleys with sufficient bite, and frequently turns into a sitting duck at the net. However, he has improved this aspect of his game and is showing signs of becoming an efficient net player.
Zverev was born in Hamburg, to Russian parents; the family moved from Russia to Germany before he was born. He started playing tennis at the age of five.
Zverev's father Alexander Sr. was a tennis professional himself, while his mother Irina was a tennis coach. Alexander Sr. has been the primary coach for both his sons - Sascha and Mischa - since the start of their careers.
Zverev can speak in multiple languages, and is fluent in German, Russian and English. He looked up to Roger Federer while growing up, and he defeated his idol multiple times already.
Zverev is often considered the brightest prospect among all the young players coming up in the post-Big-4 era. While he hasn't justified his potential at the Grand Slams yet, his success in Masters tournaments suggests that he will be a force to reckon with in the future.