Alexander Zverev champion of the Tokyo Olympics 2021 after signing an absolutely immaculate performance. The German submitted with spectacular aggressiveness to Karen khachanov, taking away his faith in himself in the first set and finishing him off completely in a totally uneven second set to place a shocking 6-3 and 6-1 on the scoreboard So Sascha gets fat with a olympic gold a record that, at 24, is already quite impressive beyond the Grand Slam tournaments.
Alexander Zverev came out very hooked on the date for metal. Arguably even more convinced of his possibilities, that it was he who had to step forward to get the gold medal. With a lot of authority, putting real bombs on the serve, it did not take long to get a first break that would end up being decisive in the future of the first set. He did it hardly effortlessly, taking advantage of a couple of Khachanov’s mistakes and starting to mark territory.
Throughout the first set, the Russian tennis player would barely have a break ball, brilliantly saved by the German. Zverev’s serve percentages ended up scary: 80% of points won with the first serve, 60% with the second. The manifest superiority of the German was also evident in the rallies: every time he could load the backhand, what reached the other side of the net was a real bomb, very difficult to counter. The earthy version shown by the Russian allowed Zverev to make and break at will, and the first set ended with a speed that not many expected. 6-3 and it was time to see if the Russian could turn the game around.
The truth is that the script for the first set did not spur Khachanov on. On the contrary: he ended up mentally finishing him off. The Russian, despite constantly cheering himself up and displaying good gestural language, could not find a way to harm Sascha’s armor. The Russian insisted on repeating a play ad nauseam, following a pattern that was not proving effective and for which Zverev delivered big blows to his waterline: reversing his forehand (sometimes reaching the doubles corridor) and throwing the reverse with little conviction, leaving all the space available for Alexander to attack with a parallel backhand that was causing real havoc.
After a game in which he left several strokes of pure highlight and released this parallel with more precision than ever, Zverev was placed with a new break at the start and took a 3-0 that seemed very difficult to overcome. The conviction that Karen displayed in her semi-final match had disappeared, daunted between the nerves of the Olympic final and the aggressiveness of Zverev. As if that were not enough, the theoretical weak point of the German was working like a charm: with the right he was able to sign shots in the race to the Sampras and, at the same time, to draw balloons that surpassed Khachanov in the network.
It was simply being an immaculate performance on Zverev’s part. I would dare to say that it is one of the best that I can remember in a long time, showing sustained aggressiveness and a decision to finish the points with winners of a true champion. A new break would allow him to take a 4-0 lead and definitively sentence a match that, practically from the beginning, was totally uneven.
The truth is that Zverev signed what is probably a top-3 of the best performances of his career. Yes, it is true that there was not a member of the Big-3 on the other side of the network, but the importance of the stage, the coldness and conviction with which he faced the challenge and the tennis level deployed they show that the raw material is still there: now it only remains to polish it, sculpt it and tame it to the best of five sets. The Grand Slams remain the pending challenge of an Alexander who, at 24, already has almost all the important cards beyond them. Will he be able to take that big step forward at the Us Open? Meanwhile … it’s time to enjoy Olympic gold.