German tennis player Alexander Zverev won the biggest tournament of his career during the Olympics in Tokyo, claiming a gold medal in the men’s singles event.
The 24-year-old has long been considered a rising star in the men’s game and has been tipped to be a future world number one. His success in Japan indicates that could still be the case and it may lead to more big wins.
Zverev ended Novak Djokovic’s dream of winning the Golden Slam (all four Grand Slams in the same year and Olympic gold). He defeated the 20-time Grand Slam winner 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the semi-final of that event. It was a display from the German that reminded the world of exactly how talented he is.
The next step for Zverev in his career will be to win a Grand Slam title. He is +750 in the US Open betting to prevail on his next attempt at Flushing Meadows in New York. It’s Djokovic who is the favorite to bounce back from his Olympics defeat and is sure to be a popular US Open tennis prediction. So far, the Serbian has been very dominant in five-set matches, winning all three Grand Slam events this year. Success in New York will ensure he completes the calendar-year Grand Slam.
Zverev has met Djokovic twice in Grand Slam tournaments. He lost to the world number one at the 2019 French Open in straight sets. The pair also faced each other in the quarter-final of the Australian Open earlier this year where Djokovic came out on top 6-7, 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 before going on to win the title.
The German Has Already Captured 16 ATP Titles
Winning tournaments is something that has not proved to be a problem for Zverev since he turned professional. He now has 16 ATP titles, including the Tour Finals which he won in 2018, beating Djokovic in the final 6-4, 6-3.
The German has won three events in 2021. He was victorious on a hard court in the Mexican Open back in March, while he had success on clay, winning the Madrid Open, which was a 1000 Masters tournament.
His sole appearance in a Grand Slam final came at the 2020 US Open. He has reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open and French Open, the latter of those coming this year as he made it through to the last four at Roland-Garros before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Murray Won Gold Before Maiden Grand Slam Title
Zverez only needs to have a look at Andy Murray’s record to see what an Olympic gold medal can do for a career. The British player won gold at the Olympics in London 2012. Just months later, he landed his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open.
Murray, who’s still on the tour today, has now won a total of three Grand Slams. He’s had a great career, though perhaps he’s a little unfortunate to have played through arguably the best period in the sport’s history, with Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal all being rivals.
Zverev will be hoping his name is talked about in the same bracket as the above quartet. His immediate focus will be on his first major honor. Once it arrives, expect many others to follow.