Rome | Zverev takes the title in two

In a battle of giants Alexander Zverev held his serve and nerve to claim his second Rome Masters title at the Foro Italico and re-established himself at the top of the game with the biggest title of his career since suffering that career-threatening ankle injury two years ago in Roalnd Garros.

Obviously winning my first ever here in Rome and winning my first after my injury also in Rome, so Rome is a very special place for me Alexander Zverev, Nicolas Jarry

The big German’s serve proved exemplary as he broke his 6’7” Chilean opponent Nicolas Jarry twice to become the champion of Rome 6-4 7-5.

Zverev in fact lost just two points on his first serve and didn’t face a break point himself, breaking Jarry to win the opening set and then for a second time, to win the match itself.

In term of serving, Jarry matched him for most of the time but couldn’t when it came to consistency and while he hung on, his unforced errors mounted thereby fuelling Zverev’s confidence as the match progressed.

But he hung on and fended off two match points in the 10th game of the second set but couldn’t hold off the inevitable outcome in the next.

Alexander Zverev and Nicolas Jarry shared the spotlight

(Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

“I want to congratulate Nicolas,” a beaming Zverev said during the trophy presentation as he congratulated Jarry on his own performance in Rome. “It was an unbelievable week, the players that you beat and the way that you beat them is incredible really.

“If you continue playing like this, I am sure this is not going to be your last chance, and I am pretty sure you are going to be standing here with one of these very soon.

“You are an incredible player, you improve every single year, every single season and I want to congratulate you on once again reaching a milestone.

“You have a fantastic family, it is beautiful to see, you know I want to congratulate you guys as well.

“It is just amazing to be around and see the joy of everybody, it makes the tour a little bit easier for everybody else and it is a fantastic example of what a family life on tour can look like.”

Amongst those watching the final in the packed Court Central, was Jarryd’s were his wife and children plus his grandfather, Jaime Fillol, a former player who reached 14 in the world rankings and collected 9 titles during his career.

But while he was very effusive with his compliments, there was one remark which perhaps really encapsulated his feelings.

“This one is special in its own way because it proves to me that I can win these kinds of tournaments again,” Zverev pointed out. “I’m at the level where I want to be. Moving forward, I can dream again. This is what this week brings me.”

He now goes to Paris for the French Open as the world No.4 and must be seriously considered as a contender.

“Obviously I’ve been playing well all week, from the first point of the first round until now,” Zverev added. “Obviously I’m extremely happy with how things went. I struggled a little bit in the semifinals (when he dropped the only set of the week) but got my way out of it.”

The win brings his tally of career titles to 22 including six at Masters level. He won his first Masters in Rome in 2017 and it is also his first since 2021 Cincinnati.

“Obviously winning my first ever here in Rome and winning my first after my injury also in Rome, so Rome is a very special place for me,” Zverev said. “It is a very, very special week.”

And looking ahead to Paris, he added: “I’ve said it many times before, and I’m going to say it again: I’m somebody that I know when I don’t play well, I can lose to anyone, but when I play well, I know I can beat anyone. That’s my mindset. That’s how I think about it.

“I know I have to focus on myself, to find my rhythm in Paris the way I did here. Then everything is on my own racket.”

In contrast, Jarry, who toughed out a thriller in the previous round against Tommy Paul, was appearing in his first Masters semi-final and final.

“My feeling right now is I want to go to Roland Garros and play better because I know I can play better and do good there,” Jarry said. “I’m very motivated. That’s how I am right now.”

Alexander Zverev celebrates the winning moment

(Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)



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