Zverev takes Cincinnati title with easy win over Rublev

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Cincinnati, Aug 23 (IANS) Alexander Zverev completed his dominant week at the Western & Southern Open by cruising past Russia’s Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-3 to lift his fifth ATP Masters 1000 title and become the first German champion in Cincinnati since Boris Becker in 1985.

The world No. 5 had never won a match in six previous appearances at the tournament, but produced high-quality tennis all week to back up his Olympic singles gold medal in Tokyo and capture his fourth tour-level trophy of the season.

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Zverev, who had on Saturday (August 21) rallied from a double break down in the third set against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semifinals, extended his winning streak to 11 matches. He also stretched his ATP head-to-head against Rublev to 5-0. The third seed was aggressive throughout against Rublev, firing six aces and winning 93 per cent (26/28) of points behind his first delivery to record victory in 59 minutes.

Earlier this year, the 24-year-old captured the Mutua Madrid Open crown in May to end a three-year Masters 1000 title drought, while he also won the trophy in Acapulco on hard in March.

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Zverev is now tied in ninth position for the most Masters 1000 titles won since the series started in 1990 and is the first player to win the Western & Southern Open crown and the Olympic singles gold medal in the same year since Andre Agassi in 1996.

In a lively match, Zverev flew out of the blocks as he played aggressively. The German had great depth and power in his groundstrokes and dictated terms from the baseline as he raced to a 3-0 lead. Zverev was strong on serve throughout the first set, dropping just three points on it as he closed out the opener in 27 minutes.

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The second set was similar as Zverev had a counter to Rublev’s heavy-hitting and forced the Russian into errors.

Fourth seed Rublev was competing in his second Masters 1000 final. The Russian, who won in Rotterdam in March to capture his fourth ATP 500 title, earned his first win over countryman Daniil Medvedev en route to the final in Cincinnati.

The world No. 7 was aiming to become the sixth different Russian to win a Masters 1000 title since the series began in 1990 and sixth different champion at this level this season.

–IANS

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