Zverev ousts Djokovic in Rome final
(TSX / STATS) -- Alexander Zverev is regularly hyped as a player destined to do great things on the ATP Tour.
The 20-year-old German delivered one of those highlights on Sunday while winning the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome.
Zverev dominated seeded-seeded Novak Djokovic with a 6-4, 6-3 victory in an 81-minute final on the clay court to record the biggest title of his young career.
He is the youngest person to claim a ATP Masters 1000 title since Djokovic, then 19, won in Miami in 2007.
"I'm very happy with the way I played and my performance all week, I think today was one of the best matches I ever played," the 16th-seeded Zverev said afterward. "I knew I had to be aggressive from the first point to the last. It was very important for me to be able to stay this aggressive and not let him take over the game."
Zverev is the youngest champion in Rome since 19-year-old Rafael Nadal in 2006.
Meanwhile, Djokovic was badly outplayed while trying to win his second tournament of 2017. The Serbian has won only one of his 11 tourneys.
"He served very well. I just wasn't able to get any rhythm on my returns," Djokovic said. "If we would get into a rally, he would smash the ball from the first or second shot.
"There is no doubt he took time away from me. It happens. If he serves this well and this efficiently, it's tough to play him on any surface."
The big victory will move Zverev up to No. 10 in the world rankings, marking the first time he has reached the Top 10.
Zverev never faced a break point and hit 16 winners and committed 14 unforced errors. Djokovic was error-prone with 27 unforced miscues against just 11 winners.
The youngster paid tribute to Djokovic's long-term success during the awards' ceremony.
"Coming into this week I never thought I could be standing here in the finals or getting this trophy," Zverev said. "It's such an honor being on the court against one of the best-ever players.
"If I have half the career Novak has had, I will be just fine."
Djokovic confirmed after the loss that tennis legend Andre Agassi will serve as his coach on a part-time basis at the upcoming French Open.
Updated May 21, 2017