Alexander Zverev joins elite club by finishing in top 10 for 3rd straight year
Although Alexander Zverev did not follow up his triumph at the ATP Finals 2018 with further success in 2019, the German still managed to add a very special achievement to his already illustrious career.
By finishing in the Top 10 for the third straight year, Zverev has become the first player since Novak Djokovic to do so before turning 23 years old. Perhaps more significantly, Zverev has joined an elite list of legends by achieving this feat.
When Zverev burst onto the tennis scene a few years ago, many thought he would be the player to dethrone the Big 3 of Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. His success at the Masters 1000s tournaments and wins over Federer and Djokovic went a long way towards making him the figurehead of the NextGen.
Zverev qualified for the year-ending ATP Finals for first time in 2017, which was also the first time he ended the year in the top 10. He then qualified for the Finals again in 2018, this time walking away with the trophy. In 2019 he fell at the semifinal stage, but ensured he would finish inside the top 10 for the third straight year.
This is an incredible achievement for Zverev, and one that he will undoubtedly be very chuffed about. Finishing the year in the top 10 once is a huge achievement, but to do so three times in a row all before your 23rd birthday is something else.
Even Federer, who is regarded by many as the greatest player of all time, did not manage this feat in his peerless career. In fact, only 14 players have ever done it in the history of tennis, which shows just how rare an accomplishment it is.
Some of the more legendary names in the list include Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendl, Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal. Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg and John McEnroe also boast of the accomplishment.
Staying in the top 10 is not easy, and although Zverev has had a disappointing season, he has still played well enough to remain in the upper echelon of the rankings. A poor year for him is an incredible year for most players, who can only dream of reaching the top 10.
Zverev is still young and learning, with a lot of time on his hands. His talent is beyond doubt, and it looks inevitable that he will win multiple Grand Slams in the future - while also fighting for the coveted World No. 1 spot.