Alexander Zverev claimed his fifth ATP title in Washington 2017, beating Daniil Medvedev, Kei Nishikori and Kevin Anderson en route to his first ATP 500 crown. A year later, Alexander returned to the Citi Open as the top seed and ousted Malek Jaziri and his brother Mischa to advance into the quarters.
The German came from a set down to beat Nishikori for the second straight year in Washington and remain on the title course. In a battle of two young guns, Alexander defeated the 10th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-4 in an hour and 28 minutes to find himself in the title clash.
It was their first clash, and Zverev was the pre-match favorite due to his ranking and last year's performance in the American capital. Alexander was the dominant figure behind the initial shot, losing 13 points in nine service games and never facing a break chance.
Alexander Zverev reached the second consecutive Washington final in 2018.
The rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas entered the top-30 after that week, but he stood no chance against Zverev, losing 45% of the points in his games and giving serve away thrice.
Alexander hit 23 winners and 18 unforced errors, while Stefanos finished with 15 direct points and 22 mistakes, unable to impose his strokes or move his rival from the comfort zone. The German had the upper hand in the shortest and more extended exchanges, reducing unforced errors to under ten and overpowering the Greek in almost every segment.
In the opening set, it was all about Zverev, as he left the rival behind on both serve and return. Stefanos suffered a break in the third game following a costly double fault. A forehand winner at 3-1 gave Alexander another break, and he sealed the set with an ace in game eight after 34 minutes.
Stefanos raised his level in set number two, and nothing could separate them in the first eight games to stay locked at 4-4 and march towards a tie break. Instead, the Greek lost ground in game nine and got broken after nine deuces and four break points for Zverev, who grabbed the advantage after the opponent's forehand error, 15 minutes after the game started!
Four service winners delivered an easy hold for Alexander in game ten and propelled him into the final against Alex de Minaur.