It’s going to be the 20-year-old Alexander Zverev, who is clearly leagues and miles ahead of other players his generation. The upcoming US Open can be his breakthrough slam, and we really hope that the ATP world sees a new name ruling the roost, since we are getting a little bored of the The Big Four dominance.
There will be no Novak Djokovic, who is sitting out 2017 to recharge his batteries. Roger Federer has said that it will be a joke if he wins three grand slams in a year, and winning two was already much more than what he expected. World No. 1 Rafael Nadal is a threat but he has already been beaten twice in the early rounds at Montreal and Cincinati, and it won’t be a huge upset if he is knocked out in the fourth round or quarterfinals. Andy Murray is coming back after a long break that he took to recover from his hip injury post Wimbledon, and may find his top game, but it’s not certain. The lack of match practice may hurt him.
Zverev on the other hand recorded probably the biggest win of his career by beating Roger Federer in the Rogers Cup finals. “This one against Roger is something so special for me because he was always a great idol growing up for me. The greatest player of all time, beating him in a final, not just any final but in the final of a Masters 1000, is amazing,” he said after the victory. Earlier, he had also beaten Novak Djokovic to win Rome Masters.
Zverev is still only 20, and pretty quick considering he is 6 ft 6 inch tall. He might still need to put on some muscle to be more intimidating, but he is working on that under Jez Green, the man behind Andy Murray’s fitness for quite some time. He has also hired Juan Carlos Ferrero, a former World No. 1 as his coach.
On top of that, he is the best when it comes to the next gen of ATP superstars by a margin. Yes, there is Dominic Thiem who is close to him in skills but he is yet to win a Masters 1000 and is three years elder to Zverev.
“He’s a clear possible future no. 1. He’s an amazing player. He has all the shots,” current Nadal had said about Zverev in a press conference. It’s clear that Zverev has the mindset of a champion, even if he fails to bring his A-Game to all matches. His record in Grand Slams isn’t pretty, but that should change as he matures and is able to keep a better check on his emotions much like he did in Montreal against Roger.
So yes, Zverev’s performance in the US Open will be one of the most intriguing storylines to watch out for. Along with those of Federer, Nadal and Murray. We can’t wait for the action to begin on August 28, when Zverev will face World No. 168 Darian King from Barbados.