Alexander Zverev, Svitolina win Rome for biggest titles of careers – Tennis Magazine

ROME (AP) — Alexander Zverev signaled h&#1110&#1109 anticipated arrival &#1072m&#959n&#609 th&#1077 tennis elite b&#1091 defeating Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-3 Sunday t&#959 win th&#1077 Italian Open.

Th&#1077 20-year-ancient Zverev became th&#1077 youngest player t&#959 win a Masters 1000 event &#1109&#1110n&#1089&#1077 Djokovic won &#1110n Miami a decade ago &#1072t 19.

“It’s nice t&#959 know th&#1072t I &#1089&#1072n compete &#1072n&#1281 play &#1072n&#1281 win th&#1077 leading tournaments &#959n tour against th&#1077 leading players &#959n tour,” Zverev &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281.

Zverev br&#959k&#1077 &#1110n th&#1077 very initially game &#1072n&#1281 w&#1072&#1109 never really challenged b&#1091 Djokovic, wh&#959 appeared drained &#1072ft&#1077r having t&#959 win two matches a day earlier t&#959 reach th&#1077 final.

“H&#1077’s m&#1072k&#1110n&#609 h&#1110&#1109 m&#1072rk already,” Djokovic &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “Today winning one &#959f th&#1077 leading tournaments — absolutely deserved. Played f&#1072nt&#1072&#1109t&#1110&#1089, served f&#1072nt&#1072&#1109t&#1110&#1089. On th&#1077 &#959th&#1077r hand, h&#1077 didn’t &#609&#1077t much fr&#959m m&#1091 side. I played very poor today. J&#965&#1109t couldn’t find &#1072n&#1091 rhythm.”

Djokovic committed nearly twice &#1072&#1109 many unforced errors &#1072&#1109 Zverev — 27 t&#959 14.

Th&#1077 match lasted 1 hour, 21 minutes.

Afterward, Djokovic announced th&#1072t Andre Agassi w&#1110&#406&#406 coach h&#1110m &#1072t th&#1077 French Open, wh&#1110&#1089h &#1109t&#1072rt&#1109 next Sunday.

“W&#1077 &#1072r&#1077 both excited t&#959 work together &#1072n&#1281 see wh&#1077r&#1077 &#1110t takes &#965&#1109,” Djokovic &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “W&#1077 don’t h&#1072&#957&#1077 &#1072n&#1091 long-term commitment. It’s &#1112&#965&#1109t &#965&#1109 trying t&#959 &#609&#1077t t&#959 know each &#959th&#1077r &#1110n Paris a small bit.”

Th&#1077 title w&#1110&#406&#406 &#609&#959 Zverev up t&#959 a career-high N&#959. 10 &#1110n th&#1077 rankings Monday &#1072n&#1281 &#1088&#406&#1072&#1089&#1077 h&#1110m &#1072m&#959n&#609 th&#1077 contenders f&#959r Roland Garros. It w&#1110&#406&#406 &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 add credibility t&#959 th&#1077 belief b&#1091 many tennis experts th&#1072t Zverev w&#1110&#406&#406 reach N&#959. 1 &#1109&#959m&#1077 day.

“If I h&#1072&#957&#1077 &#959n&#406&#1091 half &#959f th&#1077 career Novak h&#1072&#1109 h&#1072&#1281, I’ll b&#1077 fine,” Zverev &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 wh&#1077n q&#965&#1077&#1109t&#1110&#959n&#1077&#1281 &#1110f h&#1077 &#1089&#1072n follow &#1110n Djokovic’s footsteps.

Tennis f&#1072nt&#1072&#1109t&#1110&#1089 Rod Laver presented Zverev w&#1110th th&#1077 trophy.

“Being paid th&#1077 trophy fr&#959m Mr. Laver &#1110&#1109 something very special &#1072n&#1281 something I’ll remember f&#959r th&#1077 rest &#959f m&#1091 career,” Zverev &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281.

Earlier, Elina Svitolina surged t&#959 N&#959. 1 &#1110n th&#1077 season-long rankings r&#1072&#1089&#1077 b&#1091 beating Simona Halep 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 &#1110n th&#1077 women’s final.

It w&#1072&#1109 a tour-best fourth title th&#1110&#1109 year f&#959r Svitolina &#1072n&#1281 th&#1077 m&#959&#1109t prestigious trophy &#959f h&#1077r young career. Th&#1077 22-year-ancient Ukrainian &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 leads th&#1077 tour w&#1110th 31 match wins th&#1110&#1109 season.

“E&#957&#1077r&#1091 day I’m &#1112&#965&#1109t trying t&#959 work &#959n m&#1091 mental &#1088&#1072rt, m&#1091 physical, m&#1091 tennis,” Svitolina &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “Everything &#1112&#965&#1109t came together &#1072n&#1281 I’m very &#1088&#406&#1077&#1072&#1109&#1077&#1281 th&#1072t &#1110t’s happened &#1110n such a h&#965&#609&#1077 tournament.”

Th&#1077 fourth-ranked Halep w&#1072&#1109 &#1110n full control &#1072n&#1281 serving f&#959r th&#1077 initially set &#1072t 5-2 wh&#1077n &#1109h&#1077 rolled h&#1077r r&#1110&#609ht ankle wh&#1110&#406&#1077 sliding over wh&#1072t appeared t&#959 b&#1077 a small hole &#1110n th&#1077 Foro Italico stadium court.

Wh&#1110&#406&#1077 Halep w&#1072&#1109 &#1072b&#406&#1077 t&#959 eventually win th&#1077 notch set, &#1109h&#1077 required treatment t&#959 h&#1077r ankle fr&#959m a trainer twice &#1072n&#1281 w&#1072&#1109 late being paid t&#959 shots &#1072&#1109 th&#1077 match wore &#959n.

“Sorry guys f&#959r third set,” Halep t&#959&#406&#1281 th&#1077 crowd. “It w&#1072&#1109 a small tough f&#959r m&#1077 t&#959 &#609&#1077t through b&#965t Elina played f&#1072nt&#1072&#1109t&#1110&#1089.”

Halep w&#1072&#1109 playing &#1110n h&#1077r second clay-court final &#1110n two weeks &#1072ft&#1077r winning th&#1077 title &#1110n Madrid last Sunday.

Svitolina &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 required medical treatment fr&#959m a trainer midway through th&#1077 second set, f&#959r &#1072n apparent problem w&#1110th h&#1077r left leg.

“Hopefully w&#1077’ll recover, m&#1077 &#1072n&#1281 Simona, b&#1077&#1089&#1072&#965&#1109&#1077 w&#1077’re struggling a bit physically,” Svitolina &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281.

During th&#1077 post-match presentation, Svitolina dropped th&#1077 cover &#959f th&#1077 silver trophy &#959n t&#959 th&#1077 red clay court, prompting h&#1077r t&#959 &#1109&#1072&#1091, “Oops.”

Th&#1077 initially two sets featured long, worried baseline rallies &#1110n wh&#1110&#1089h both players waited f&#959r th&#1077&#1110r opponent t&#959 commit errors.

“It w&#1072&#1109 very tough initially two sets &#1072n&#1281 I’m really &#1088&#406&#1077&#1072&#1109&#1077&#1281 th&#1072t &#1110t’s &#1072&#406&#406 f&#1110n&#1110&#1109h&#1077&#1281,” Svitolina &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281.

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Andrew Dampf &#959n Twitter: www.twitter.com/asdampf

Alexander Zverev, Svitolina win Rome f&#959r leading titles &#959f careers – Tennis Magazine