ATP Rising Stars Alexander Zverev and Karen Khachanov Cap off 2018 With Titles
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
ATP World Tour FinalsEmbed from Getty Images
The year end finals in London featured most of the top ATP players, and it was Alexander Zverev, the world #5, who came out the victor, upsetting #1 Novak Djokovic and handing him a second straight final defeat 6-4 6-3 as Zverev was dominant on serve and broke Djokovic when needed.
Zverev, who had previously complained of fatigue due to the length of the season, fell to Djokovic in his first match of the round robin portion of play, but came back to beat Marin Cilic, John Isner, and Roger Federer to reach the final without dropping a set in three nip and tuck matches. Djokovic beat Cilic, Isner, and Kevin Anderson largely thanks to a superior return game to reach the final. He’ll enter the 2019 season as the favorite for the Australian Open given his strong form to finish the year. Zverev will be hoping that the season ending tournament win will boost him in 2019.
Bryan/Sock defeated Herbert/Mahut in the doubles final
ATP ParisEmbed from Getty Images
In the final full field ATP event of the season, Russia’s Karen Khachanov stunned Novak Djokovic for the biggest title of his young career.The 22 year old Khachanov defeated Djokovic 7-5 6-4 capping off a dominant week where he sailed past Filip Krajinovic, and Matt Ebden, edged John Isner in 3 sets, and then upset both Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem to reach the final. Khachanov had a career year in 2018 and will look ahead to 2019 to post even better results in the Grand Slams.
Djokovic beat Joao Sousa, Damir Dzumhur, Marin Cilic, and Roger Federer (in 3 sets) to reach the final, he’ll finish the season with 7 finals appearances.
Granollers/Ram defeated Rojer/Tecau in the doubles final
ATP Next Gen FinalsEmbed from Getty Images
The second year of the ATP Next Gen Finals in Milan saw Greek #1 Stefanos Tsitipas go undefeated in round robin play defeating Frances Tiafoe, Hubert Hurkacz, and Jaume Munar. Tsitipas then defeated Andrey Rublev and finalist Alex De Minaur in competitive contests to win the title of this exhibition style event. De Minaur was the other player to go 3-0 in round robin play, defeating Taylor Fritz, Liam Caruana, and Andrey Rublev to cap off a breakthrough 2018. His matches will be highly anticipated once the Australian swing fires up in January.