ThrowbackTimes Munich: Alexander Zverev downs Guido Pella to shine at home

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ThrowbackTimes Munich: Alexander Zverev downs Guido Pella to shine at home

Alexander Zverev claimed the third ATP title and the second of the season in Munich 2017, beating a qualifier Guido Pella 6-4, 6-3 in 73 minutes for the first trophy in front of the home fans. With this triumph, Alexander proved once again he is a true leader of the next generation, claiming 18 wins and 950 points that season at the beginning of May.

Also, Zverev became only the sixth U20 player since 2003 with three or more ATP crowns, joining Rafael Nadal, Richard Gasquet, Novak Djokovic, Andy Muray and Juan Martin del Potro who was the last player to achieve that in 2008.

Pella was ranked 158th at that moment, doing an excellent job by reaching the second title match in a career and building a 4-2 40-15 lead before Zverev shifted into a higher gear to wrap up seven games in a row and switch the course of the match in his favor.

The German was the more aggressive player, mixing his game nicely while opening the court and changing the direction of shots with his steady groundstrokes. The first serve wasn't the most significant weapon for either of them but Zverev made a huge difference with his second serve, winning 17 out of 21 points and leaving Pella on ten from 18.

The home player saved two out of three break points he had to play against, having only two troubled service games to deal with and stealing Guido's serve three times from eight opportunities to seal the deal in straight sets.

Alexander hit 16 service winners and another 20 from the field, an unreachable territory for Pella who had ten service winners and only 11 from the court. These winners delivered the victory for the youngster after they made the same number of errors, although in different patterns.

Alexander committed 16 unforced errors, eight from each wing, staying at only eight forced mistakes. On the other hand, Pella did well to finish the encounter with eight unforced errors on his tally, with Zverev drawing 15 forced errors from his rival to make the things even.

Alexander had a 31-23 advantage in the shortest points up to four strokes and they were pretty even in the mid-range exchanges, with a 12-11 lead for the German. The youngster was 17-12 in front in the most extended rallies, earning his triumph fair and square after controlling both the quickest and most demanding points.

Pella kicked off the action in the best possible fashion, taking two 18-stroke rallies to break Zverev in the first game, showing his impressive defensive skills that led him into the final. The German reached deuce in the second game but Guido hit two winners for a significant hold and a 2-0 advantage in the early stages.

He already had four winners from the field, keeping Zverev out of his comfort zone and with no chance to impose his strokes. Alexander found his shots in the third game, holding at love to get his name on the scoreboard before Pella moved 3-1 up with another comfortable hold.

They both served well in the next couple of games as well before the crucial seventh game where the Argentine had two chances to move 5-2 in front. With no room for errors, Zverev repelled them with winners, taking four straight points for a significant hold that gave him a massive boost and the mental edge over the opponent.

Pumped after that good hold, Alexander broke at love a few minutes later to level the score at 4-4 and gain momentum ahead of the closing stages of the opener. Returning well and taking charge in the points with his groundstrokes that worked better and better as the game progressed, the youngster closed the ninth game with two service winners, moving in front for the first time and forcing Pella to serve for staying in the set.

His drive was done and dusted and the German broke again to take the set 6-4, winning four more extended rallies and having the scoreboard in his hands after rattling off four straight games and overcoming a massive deficit.

Zverev continued where he left in the first set, taking the opening three games at the beginning of the second to extend his run to seven games in a row, marching towards the finish line. The home star fired four winners in the first game and grabbed a break in the second, dominating the court and feeling the ball more and more.

Guido finally ended the rival's run in game four after a hold at love, having to find the way to break back if he wanted to stay in contention. He reached deuce on the return in game five but that was all he could do, as Zverev wrapped it up with an ace and a smash to open a 4-1 advantage.

A phenomenal forehand down the line winner gave Alexander three break chances in the sixth game, denied by Guido who fended them off to at least stay in touch. Alexander sealed game seven with two winners, standing a game away from the title and having the trophy clearly within his sight.

The German served for the triumph at 5-3 and sealed it on the first match point, blasting three winners in a row to celebrate his third ATP crown just after turning 20, the first in front of the home crowd.