Alexander Zverev sends Rogers Cup warning after defending Citi Open title
GERMANY’s Alexander Zverev beat Australian teenager Alex de Minaur 6-2 6-4 to defend his Citi Open title in Washington on Sunday.
Zverev's serve played a big role in the victory, his third of the year, as the world No 3 won all but two of his first-serve points in the final, which lasted 74 minutes.
The 21-year-old German, now winner of nine career victories, became the tournament's first repeat champion since Argentine Juan Martin del Potro prevailed in 2008-09.
An obviously struggling De Minaur dropped the opening four games of the first set, but fought back in the second.
The Australian drew the crowd's applause when he hit a superb winner to hold for 3-4, after saving three break points to avoid a double-break deficit.
He saved two match points on his own serve at 3-5 but Zverev clinched the victory when De Minaur hit a backhand into the net in the next game.
Alexander Zverev heads to the Rogers Cup as defending champion (Image: EPA)
Alex de Minaur will climb up the rankings after reaching the Citi Open final (Image: GETTY)
Zverev now heads to Toronto in an aim to defend his Rogers Cup title, and the German is feeling positive.
”Winning a tournament on its 50th anniversary is amazing," Zverev said.
“This has been a very special week for me. All those occasions and playing my brother, it was a special week after the win.
"Defending a title is different because you know you have a few points to defend.
"It shows mental strength and a lot of maturity. It was a fantastic week for me.
“I played very well from start to finish all week. Alex played great but I was feeling the ball well.
“I’m playing well. I only lost one set all week. The Rogers Cup won’t be an easy week, there are a lot of great players, but I feel well and I’m going to take a lot of positives from this.”
Although beaten, De Minaur, once ranked 208 in the world, will soar into the top 50 for the first time when the new rankings are produced on Monday, rising 27 spots to number 45.
"I came out and didn't start as well as I wanted to. I wanted to hold serve and put some pressure on his service games," De Minaur said.
"I felt like I was on the back foot a lot. But that's tennis. I'm very happy with the week I've had and going to try and build on this."