Washington Champion Sascha Zverev ‘Re-Elected’ in Landslide Win at Citi Open
Steve Fogleman, Tennis Atlantic
On a sweltering Sunday in Washington, Sascha Zverev was overwhelmingly re-elected the Champion of Citi Open, which seemed to culminate the celebration of 50 years since the tournament began in 1969, in a National Park in the Nation’s Capital.
That this swash-buckling lanky youngster will someday win any number of Grand Slams is certain, and the crowds gathered here in Washington have collectively sensed that. Even with the likes of Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori in the draw to pique fans interests, Sascha Zverev held this place and its spectators in a trance every time he stepped on court, hit the practice courts or tried to leave the place at the end of the day. He survived a week where others wilted in weather delays, brushing aside Malek Jaziri and Brother Mischa, outlasted Kei Nishikori and steamrolled Tsitsipas. Today was no different. Zverev punished de Minaur with his forehand and his backhand in de Minaur’s maiden 500 final for a 6-2, 6-4 triumph in 74 minutes.
Zverev came into Washington less comfortable with himself a year ago and still worked through the field for his title. He was snide with reporters at the time, replying to one, “Have you ever seen me play a match?” and replying to another that he’d already beaten the best players and it was irrelevant how he’d played against them in a grand slam.
This year, he was all smiles, taking it easier on the media in his responses and generally seemed like he was having a lot more fun with it.
He started the week by telling us “Doesn’t everyone love attention?”, and ended the week with a second consecutive Citi Open title. We all love attention, Sascha, and we love to lavish it on champions. Well done.
—All photos: Mike Renz