Alexander Zverev claimed the 11th ATP title in Geneva in May 2019, unable to repeat that for almost a year and a half. The German served for the title at the US Open in September, staying empty-handed against Dominic Thiem and earning the second-prize award at home in Cologne in the last two weeks.
Zverev was the player to beat at the ATP 250 event, wrapping up eight wins in 11 days to secure two ATP crowns. The German's 13th ATP crown came against the 2nd seed Diego Schwartzman 6-2, 6-1 in 71 minutes on Sunday, controlling the pace from start to finish for a perfect fortnight.
Schwartzman competed as the top-10 player for the first time, reaching the final but standing no chance against the better-ranked opponent, creating only one break chance and giving serve away five times. Dominating with his initial shot and groundstrokes, Zverev stood strong on both serve and return, mounting the pressure on the other side of the net and bringing the victory home in no time.
The Argentine forced an error from the German in the first game for a hold, followed by a service winner from Zverev, who leveled the score at 1-1. Diego brought the third game home at love with an unreturned serve and reached two deuces on the return in the next, not making an extra step and staying away from break chances.
The German grabbed a break at 15 in the fifth game with a perfect drop shot, saved a break point a few minutes later with a service winner and fired another one from his forehand to open a 4-2 gap. Schwartzman hit a double fault in the seventh game to experience another break, allowing Zverev to wrap up the opener with an ace at 5-2 after 38 minutes.
Diego fended off a break chance in the first game of the second set, clinching it with a service winner for his only game in this part of the encounter. Alexander won the second game with a forehand winner, staying where he left in the first set and hoping for more chances on the return.
Alexander Zverev claimed back-to-back titles in Cologne.
In game three, Schwartzman netted a backhand to give serve away and send the German closer to the finish line. Another unreturned serve delivered the fourth game for the home favorite, who landed a forehand crosscourt winner to steal the rival's serve once again and open a 4-1 gap.
Alexander painted an ace down the T line to bring the sixth game home, forcing Diego to serve for staying in the match. Eager to lift the trophy as soon as possible, Zverev sealed the deal with a monstrous forehand down the line winner at 5-1, securing the third break in a row and embracing the second trophy in as many weeks.
"I know you have to play your best tennis to have a chance in the final; I'm thrilled with my performance. It was probably the best match for the past two weeks here in Cologne. Diego is someone that you can struggle against, as he doesn't miss from the baseline.
You have to win the match against him, and I felt like that's what I did. Being back in Germany is amazing, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the season. Today was a day when I felt like I could try things out on the court, and many things worked," Alexander Zverev said.