Alexander Zverev (1st) and Karen khachanov (3rd) were part of the first batch of players named by the ATP as “Next Gen” with the creation of the particular tournament to attract new generations to the world of tennis from a disruptive event (it has different rules -coaching, for example-) with the young U21 figures of each year. In that sense, Milan hosted the inaugural edition in 2017 and he should have counted on the two players (the German got off on that occasion to play the Masters) who will face each other this Sunday in the definition for the gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics 2021.
If there is an unusual event in tennis, it is undoubtedly the Olympic Games. The fact that it is held every four years and that it does not award points or prize money makes it unique. In fact, many players decide not to play it to be able to add important units in other latitudes (beginning of the American hard court tour and closing of the clay in Europe). Beyond that, it is surprising to see these two names in the Tokyo final. Hardly anyone would have imagined it before the opening ceremony. However, both were in charge of accumulating – little by little – important triumphs until reaching the last day of competition. So much so that Zverev traced Novak Djokovic after being 1-6 and 2-3 with a break down in the second set to finish winning 1-6, 6-3 and 6-1, while Khachanov beat Pablo Carreño Busta without drawbacks and in two partials.
EACH ONE’S PATH TO THE END
Zverev: Yen-Hsun Lu, Daniel Galán, Nikoloz Basilashvili, Jeremy Chardy and Novak Djokovic
Khachanov: Nishioka, Duckworth, Schwartzman, Humbert and Carreño Busta
THE POSSIBLE KEYS TO THE MATCH
The track record between the two it is equaled in two. However, the last two matches were left to the Moscow native (Paris-Bercy 2018 and Canada 2019). Logically, there is a card that is infallible in the game of the two tennis players: the service. Whoever is not fine with the serve and fails to obtain a high percentage of first serves (minimum around 70/75%) is very likely to suffer against the rest of the rival. Indeed, Zverev does not usually appear in the top of the best receivers on the circuit, but it is a facet in which he has excelled lately, but ask Nole, who suffered when his serve was not at the highest level.
Zverev has a ‘magical’ blow on the back, whose virtues come to light when he is in his day. They rarely see him fail often and he knows how to vary between crusader and parallel. It is impossible to imagine an exchange of crossover setbacks until the parallel change from German to force you to hit the Russian on the move. If the current 25 in the ranking manages to hit the ball at chest height and affirmed on the baseline, the one who will have to run from one side to the other will be Sascha. The one who gives up the initiative pays. That is why they will not have a margin of error since a sum of consecutive failures can take them away – in confidence and, especially, in the result – from the gold medal, the one they dreamed of since childhood and that now has only one victory of hearing the national anthem of your country loudly.