Flashback Canada: Alexander Zverev tops Roger Federer for second Masters 1000 title



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Flashback Canada: Alexander Zverev tops Roger Federer for second Masters 1000 title

The 20-year-old Alexander Zverev made his fantastic 2017 season even better in Montreal, winning his fifth title of the year to join Roger Federer at the top of the list. The German claimed the second Masters 1000 crown following a 6-3, 6-4 triumph over Roger Federer in an hour and ten minutes.

It was the Masters 1000 final with the biggest age difference since Montreal 2005 when Rafael Nadal defeated Andre Agassi, with youngsters toppling the more experienced rivals in both of those title matches. Alexander became only the sixth U20 player with multiple Masters 1000 crowns in a single season, after Michael Chang, Andrei Medvedev, Marat Safin, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

The German conquered at least five ATP titles in a single season as the fifth U20 player since 1990, the first since Novak Djokovic in 2007. Zverev came to Montreal following the title in Washington, rattling off ten straight victories and entering the top-7 for the first time in a career with those 1000 points.

Unlike in Halle in June, Roger certainly wasn't at his best, serving at low speed and not moving well after struggling with a back injury. Right from the start, Federer had problems with timing and settling for the shots, finishing the encounter with six winners from the court and 18 unforced errors, not enough against such a strong rival.

His backhand leaked big time as he mostly sliced from that wing, causing no troubles to Zverev. Federer had some good serves, and things looked well for him after bringing Alexander to the net, although he didn't have the control over the match, as Zverev kept the points on his racquet, placing 14 winners from the court and 16 unforced errors.

Alexander fended off all three break chances, securing one break in each set to move over the top and celebrate the title. After the first game, we saw a graphic that showed Federer's ball-hitting position in Montreal's previous four encounters, managing to take 47% of the strokes from inside the baseline and winning 76% of the points at the net.

In Montreal 2017, Alexander Zverev defeated Roger Federer to take second Masters 1000 crown.

That tactic couldn't work against Alexander, who kept Federer behind the baseline, giving Roger no opportunity to mix the game and change the rhythm in the points with drop shots and net rushings.

He finished the match with no volley winners and invited Zverev to the net only a few times, making no impact and not pushing Zverev out of his comfort zone. Roger served at only 51%, and to make things even worse, he had to cut down the speed from his initial shot evidently in the closing stages, struggling with back problems that didn't allow him to serve faster.

Zverev won 46% of the return points to earn those six break chances, dropping only 15 points in ten service games to mount the pressure on the other side of the net. They had a similar number of service winners (19-18 for Roger) and it was the winners from the field where Zverev outplayed his great rival, hitting 14 against only six from Roger.

The German had more mistakes in the middle of the match but stopped on 16 unforced errors while Roger counted to 18, missing equally from both wings, just like Zverev. Federer also had more forced errors, 11 to seven, and outside that slim edge in service winners department, nothing stood on his side.

The youngster had a significant 49-36 advantage in the rallies up to four shots, proving how good his first groundstroke is and dominating the mid-range exchanges with a 12-6 lead. Interestingly, Roger prevailed in the most extended rallies by 7-2, but the number of those was too small to impact the overall score.