Back in 2017, Alexander Zverev claimed his third ATP title in Munich and the first in front of the home fans, returning a year later as world no. 3 and the favorite to go all the way at the famous Bavarian event. Having to work hard against Yannick Hanfmann in the opening match, Alexander played better against another compatriot Jan-Lennard Struff to reach the semis, taking down another young gun Hyeon Chung to set the title clash versus the three-time Munich champion Philipp Kohlschreiber in the first all-German final in five years.
Seeking the first title of 2018 season, Alexander toppled a more experienced opponent 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and 11 minutes, lifting his seventh ATP trophy and the first since Montreal last August. The young German didn't enjoy a perfect start of the season but he found his form in Acapulco, Miami and Monte Carlo, scoring 21 ATP overall and defending an ATP title for the first time in his career.
Kohlschreiber played great tennis before the final, seeking the fourth title in Munich from six finals but suffering the second straight defeat to the younger compatriot on the home soil after Halle last June. Zverev served at 80% and fended off two out of three break chances to keep the pressure on the other side of the net, earning four breaks from six opportunities to seal the deal in style.
They had a similar number of winners and unforced errors and it was Zverev who forced more mistakes from the rival's racquet, forging his victory in the quickest rallies up to four strokes as nothing could separate them in the more extended ones.
Philipp saved a break point in the opening game of the match with a service winner, avoiding an early setback and staying in touch with the better-ranked rival in the upcoming games. It was Alexander's turn to survive a scare at 2-3, fending off two break opportunities to level the result at 3-3 and stay on the positive side of the scoreboard.
It proved to be even more critical when he grabbed a break a few minutes later with a lob winner, gaining momentum and securing the set with another break in game nine when Philipp's forehand landed long. Kohlschreiber made a better start in set number two, earning a break in game three when Zverev placed a backhand long, spraying a similar error in the next game to lose serve and the advantage, sending the drive back to the other side of the court.
Zverev served well until the end of the encounter and was waiting for a chance on the return patiently, creating an opportunity at 4-3 after a backhand mistake from Kohlschreiber. The youngster converted it with a forehand winner to open a 5-3 lead and serve for the title in the next game.
He delivered it in the best possible way, hitting four service winners to start a massive celebration in front of the home crowd, happy with the way he played and standing with another title in his hands, the first in many months.