Alexander Zverev lifted his third Masters crown with victory over Dominic Thiem in the Madrid Open final last weekend. After the victory, the German made an interesting claim regarding Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer
So far, the Masters 1000 series has had four different winners this season. Nadal is the only one of ‘Big Four’ to claim titles. The Spaniard has triumphed at Monte Carlo and Barcelona.
Zverev is now gearing up for the Italian Open against Matteo Berrettini.
The German is the number two seed for the tournament and has fond memories of Rome having won last year.
Zverev believes that, aside from Nadal and Federer, there are other players who are making a name for themselves on the ATP Tour.
“We have so many great players at the moment – young and older generation,” Zverev said.
“So the game is at the absolute best and obviously Roger and Rafael are dominating, but there are other guys playing unbelievable tennis.”
He also explained that the Italian Open was the launchpad for his career. The 21-year old is hoping to keep up his fine form.
He added: “It was unbelievably important – I didn’t expect to win my first Masters title here.
“The week I had here was unreal – I couldn’t believe it.
“It has been a great year since that and I’m hoping to continue the tennis I’ve been playing throughout the clay court season and see how far I can go.”
Aside from the Italian Open, Zverev’s real target is the French Open – the second Grand Slam tournament of the season.
The German knows that he will have to be in peak condition to really surge ahead in Paris. He is also aware that Roland Garros is Nadal’s second home and he will be highly dominant there. While Federer may not be participating on clay, one can be sure that the Swiss ace will return stronger.