"I had a tough final in New York, " Alexander Zverev admitted when he first came to compete during the Pandemic. He clearly remembers the grueling five-setter with Dominic Thiem and came up still losing. It may have been disheartened then, but the German made up for the distress by raising his game level and defeating Felix Auger-Aliassime in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 at the Cologne Indoors.
The German knew he had to be aggressive to grab victory
This was Zverev's 12th career title but since the Pandemic and the shortened tour lucky he captured his first title of 2020. The idea of playing in Cologne, Germany his home town country was nice but he felt totally out of his element with the absence of fans thee to give the verbal support needed.
Besides from the health crisis, Zverev has just been down on his luck in winning titles and hasn't had one since May of 2019. The last time he'd ever reached a semifinal was at the Australian Open in January. It appeared that when the German broke the Canadian's serve in the first game of the match, emotionally Zverev felt motivated to elevate his level of play to win.
Its in playing Auger-Aliassime that might have been a bit difficult since they've practiced together enough time in Monaco during the coronavirus pandemic. The Cologne Indoors is a newly formed tournament, one of two, organized due to the shuffle of events during the world health crisis.
Zverev gave kudos to the Canadian saying, "You're going to be lifting a winner's trophy very, very soon." The Canadian has gotten close but no titles yet in his resume. He's made finals and lost 6 in two years, all in straight sets.
He did have an advantage of playing previous finals all on indoor hard courts, but it was no consolation that he'd had another loss. Alexander Zverev feels extra happy to not only capture a title and in Cologne, but qualified for the ATP Finals in November along with Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, and Stefanos Tsitsipas in naming a few.
He hopes to bring his same spirit to his next tournament and throughout the ATP Final held at the 02 Arena in England. It will mean much to him being that this is the last year this prestigious event will be held in the UK.