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Alexander Zverev "changed his game" to make a comeback in Acapulco final, says "Miami will not be easy" despite absence of Big 3

Alexander Zverev with his Telcel ATP Mexican Open 2021 title
Alexander Zverev with his Telcel ATP Mexican Open 2021 title
Modified 21 Mar 2021

World No. 7 Alexander Zverev overcame a rough start and some nervy moments to lift his 14th career title on Sunday, beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final of the 2021 Abierto Mexicano Telcel.

Zverev prevailed with a scoreline of 6-4, 7-6 (3), but he was 1-4, 15-40 down at one point in the first set. Some clutch serving from him coupled with uncharacteristically poor net play from Tsitsipas helped the German mount a comeback, from where he never looked back.

Speaking to the press after his first title of the season, Alexander Zverev admitted that he didn't have the best of starts in the final. Stressing that Tsitsipas’s tactical approach was the kind he hadn’t faced throughout the event, the 23-year-old claimed that staging a comeback in the opening set helped boost his morale for the rest of the match.

"The beginning of the game was very bad for me, it is evident," Zverev said. "I did not play well at all and the only thing I could do was keep fighting to be back in the game. Stefanos was playing me totally different from how the rest of the rivals I had throughout the week had played me."
"I changed my game to find my rhythm, at first I didn't feel good," Zverev added. "Luckily I managed to take the first set and that gave me confidence for the second."

Alexander Zverev was also asked about his chances for the upcoming Miami Masters, which will be missing several top players - including Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Roger Federer. Many believe this is a golden opportunity for the players left in the field to lay their hands on a Masters 1000 title, which hasn’t been an easy task in the era of the Big 3.

Alexander Zverev acknowledged the fact that the Floridian event is a lot more open now. But he asserted that the absence of Federer, Djokovic and Nadal hasn't made the tournament an 'easy' tournament, given that the field still boasts strong players like Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and himself.

"I think Miami is definitely a tournament where a lot of players are looking for opportunities, for chances but we still have great players there," Zverev said. "We still have Medvedev, we have Tsitsipas, I think I will be the number 3 seed there. Still a lot of great players to beat and you can't really say that just because those three guys are not there it's gonna be an easy tournament for anyone."

My goal remains the same, to win Grand Slams: Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev celebrates after winning the final
Alexander Zverev celebrates after winning the final

During his presser, Alexander Zverev pointed out that while he may have 14 titles at the age of 23, he still lags behind Dominic Thiem in terms of sheer numbers. Nevertheless, Zverev revealed that he was very proud of his achievement as winning titles is what 'all players compete for'.

"I may be the player with the most titles right now of all the tennis players of my generation, but surely Dominic (Thiem) has more than me," Zverev said. "Well, at the end of the day it is something that sounds good, it is one of those statistics that you like to hear since all players compete for that: play finals and win finals."

Alexander Zverev also reiterated his desire to win big events, in particular the Slams.

"After a week like this, you end up extremely happy with your result," Zverev said. "But my goal remains the same, to win on the great stages of the circuit, the Grand Slams."
Published 21 Mar 2021, 14:47 IST
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