ATP ANALYSIS: Zverev overcomes a slow start to topple Pella in Munich

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ATP ANALYSIS: Zverev overcomes a slow start to topple Pella in Munich

Alexander Zverev claimed his 3rd ATP title and the second of the season in Munich, beating qualifier Guido Pella 6-4 6-3 in 73 minutes for his first ATP success in front of the home crowd. Thus, Alexander proved once again that he is a true leader of the next generation players, already grabbing 18 wins and 950 points in 2017. In addition, Zverev is only the 6th U20 player since 2003 who managed to take 3 or more ATP crowns, joining Rafael Nadal, Richard Gasquet, Novak Djokovic, Andy Muray and Juan Martin del Potro, who was the last to do so back in 2008.

Pella, ranked 158th, made a good job by reaching the final, his second on the ATP Tour, and he was off to a great start, building a 4-2 40-15 lead before Zverev shifted into a higher gear to wrap up 7 games in a row and switch the course of the match in his favor.

He was the more aggressive player and he mixed his game well, opening the court and changing the direction of shots nicely with his steady groundstrokes. The first serve wasn't the biggest weapon for either of the players but Zverev made a huge difference with his second serve, winning 17 out of 21 points (only 10 from 18 for Pella).

German saved 2 out of 3 break points he faced, having only two unsettled service games to deal with, and he took Pella's serve 3 times from 8 opportunities he created. The home player hit 16 service winners and another 20 from the field, which stayed unreachable territory for Guido, who had 10 service winners and only 11 from the court.

These winners delivered the victory for the youngster after all, as they made the same number of errors. Alexander committed 16 unforced errors, 8 from both wings, but he stayed on only 8 forced mistakes. On the other hand, Pella did well to end the match on 8 unforced errors but Zverev pressured 15 forced errors from his rival, to make the things even.

Sascha had a 31-23 advantage in the shortest points up to 4 strokes and they were pretty even in the mid-range exchanges, with a 12-11 lead for the German. It was 17-12 in the longest rallies for Alexander, which also shows how he came out as a deserved winner in the end, having an edge in both the short and long points.

Pella opened the match in the best possible fashion, taking two 18-stroke rallies to break Zverev in the first game, his defense worked great throughout the tournament and he demonstrated that at the start of the final as well.

German reached deuce in the second game but Guido hit two winners for an important hold and a 2-0 lead. He already had 4 winners from the field, keeping Zverev out of the good position to attack. Alexander found his shots in the third game, holding at love to get his name on the scoreboard, but Pella had the answer ready, moving 3-1 ahead with an easy hold too.

They were both good on serve in the next two games (Pella hit two service winners in all 3 games since the start of the match), and then came the crucial 7th game when Pella had 2 break points for a 5-2 lead. Sascha saved both break points with winners, he took 4 points in a row for an extremely important hold, not only cutting the deficit to 4-3 but gaining a huge mental edge over his rival.

Pumped after that good hold, Zverev broke at love in game 8, leveling the score at 4-4 and making up for that loose service game at the start of the match. He was returning well and taking charge in the points with his groundstrokes that worked better and better as the match progressed.

Zverev closed the 9th game with two service winner, moving in front for the first time in the match, and Pella had to serve to stay in the set. His drive was totally gone and German broke again to take the set by 6-4, he won 4 longer rallies and out of sudden, the match was in his hands after he rattled off 4 games in succession after almost falling 5-2 behind.

Pella had 6 service winners, 1 more than Zverev, but German had 9 winners from the field, leaving the Argentine on 7. Sascha had two unforced errors more than his rival, 7-5, but it was the forced errors that made all the difference, with 3 for Zverev and huge 10 for Pella.

Sascha continued where he left in the first set, he grabbed the opening 3 games at the start of the second to extend his run to 7 games in a row, and that was enough to get him the win in the end. In the first game he had 4 winners and he broke Pella immediately after that, as the dominant figure on the court in those moments.

Guido finally ended his rival's run in game 4 when he held at love, but he had to find the way to break back if he wanted to prolong the set and keep himself in contention. He reached deuce on return in game 5 but that was all he could do, as Zverev wrapped it up with an ace and a smash, jumping into a 4-1 lead.

Phenomenal forehand down the line winner gave Zverev 3 break points in the 6th game but Pella fends them off all to hold and stay in touch. Sascha sealed game 7 with two winners and he was now just a game from a triumph. German served for the win in game 9 and he sealed the match on his first match point, blasting 3 winners in a row to celebrate his 3rd ATP crown, the first in front of the home crowd.

In set number 2, Alexander had 11 service winners while Pella stood on just 4, and it was an 11-4 in the winners from the field, which gives a clear picture who was the more aggressive and determined player. Zverev hit 9 unforced errors, 6 more than Pella, but that was the price he had to pay for his offensive game and he covered that easily with the number of winners.

Point by point result and the number of shots in the rallies: I set: 1. Zverev (0-1) : 15-0(4) 15-15(18) 15-30(3) 15-40(5) Break(18)

Pella (0-2) : 15-0(6) 30-0(13) 30-15(5) 40-15(2) 40-30(13) Deuce(13) Adv. Pella(2) Game(5)
3. Zverev (1-2) : 15-0(1) 30-0(4) 40-0(2) Game(9)
4. Pella (1-3) : 15-0(2) 30-0(19) 40-0(4) Game(2)
5. Zverev (2-3) : 15-0(8) 30-0(8) 40-0(3) 40-15(3) Game(1)

Pella (2-4) : 15-0(6) 30-0(2) 30-15(1) 40-15(3) Game(2)
7. Zverev (3-4) : 0-15(5) 0-30(5) 15-30(3) 15-40(6) 30-40(3) Deuce(3) Adv. Zverev(1) Game(6)
8. Pella (4-4) : 0-15(5) 0-30(10) 0-40(13) Break(5)

Zverev (5-4) : 15-0(9) 30-0(9) 30-15(9) 40-15(4) 40-30(1) Game(2)
10. Pella (6-4) : 15-0(6) 15-15(11) 15-30(11) 15-40(14) Break(23)
II set: 1. Zverev (1-0) : 15-0(3) 30-0(2) 40-0(7) Game(3)

Pella (2-0) : 15-0(4) 15-15(3) 15-30(16) 15-40(3) 30-40(10) Break(6)
3. Zverev (3-0) : 15-0(2) 30-0(2) 40-0(2) 40-15(3) Game(4)
4. Pella (3-1) : 15-0(12) 30-0(13) 40-0(1) Game(6)
5. Zverev (4-1) : 0-15(15) 15-15(4) 30-15(6) 30-30(2) 40-30(1) Deuce(7) Adv.

Zverev(1) Game(11)
6. Pella (4-2) : 0-15(8) 0-30(11) 0-40(10) 15-40(3) 30-40(14) Deuce(2) Adv. Zverev(6) Deuce(10) Adv. Pella(4) Game(2)
7. Zverev (5-2) : 15-0(2) 15-15(11) 30-15(1) 30-30(3) 40-30(1) Game(3)

Pella (5-3) : 0-15(5) 15-15(4) 30-15(2) 40-15(7) Game(14)
9. Zverev (6-3) : 15-0(4) 30-0(11) 40-0(1) Game(2) Points won by the rallies length:

 Zverev              Pella   31      1-4   (54)  23 12      5-8   (23)  11  10      9-12  (15)  5  6       13-20 (13)  7 1       21+   (1)   /
Winners, forced and unforced errors by each shot:
 Zverev                       Pella    16       Service winners     10              20       Winners:            11 10       Forehand            4 7        Backhand            3 1        Volley              2 2        Smash               2   16       Unforced errors:    8 8        Forehand            3       8        Backhand            5            Volley                        Smash  8        Forced errors:      15 7        Forehand            9          Backhand            6  1        Volley                         Smash                 1        Double faults       1
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