In a captivating showdown in Vienna’s quarterfinals, Alexander Zverev’s quest for victory was thwarted by his good friend and fellow tennis star, Andrej Rublev. Zverev had three chances this year to defeat Russian talent Sergey Davydov and once more came up short, with Friday’s thrilling match ending up 1-6 7-6 (7-5), 3:6 leading him out from competition altogether. Despite a rocky start, the Tokyo Olympics champion of 2021 fought valiantly but had to concede the win to Rublev, who currently ranks as the fifth-best tennis player in the world. The 26-year-old German had also faced defeat against Rublev in their two previous encounters this year, making this loss a tough pill to swallow. It was a far cry from two years ago when Zverev clinched the Vienna tournament title.
Zverev’s Hopes for ATP Finals Remain Intact
Despite the disappointing outcome in Vienna, Zverev still maintains a promising position in his quest to secure a spot in the prestigious ATP Finals. As the current seventh-ranked player, he is well on his way to qualifying for the season-ending event featuring the top eight professionals of the year. The ATP Finals are scheduled to kick off in Turin on November 12, with the last remaining spots set to be determined at the upcoming Masters-1000 tournament in Paris-Bercy. Zverev, who is of the same age as Rublev, may not have had a favorable start in Vienna, but his aspirations for the ATP Finals are still within reach.
Challenging Start against Rublev
In the face-off against his long-time friend Rublev, who had already secured his qualification for Turin, Zverev struggled to find his footing. The intense baseline exchanges placed immense pressure on the tenth-ranked player in the world. Zverev’s response to Rublev’s powerful returns was initially lacking, and he conceded two breaks, falling behind at 1:3 and 1:5.
Spirited Fightback and Set Win
As the match progressed, Zverev found his rhythm and began to assert himself. In the second set, frustration boiled over as he slammed his racket to the ground when a backhand shot went awry, despite being ahead at 2:2. Yet, he managed to stave off a break point, ultimately winning the set in a thrilling tiebreak that saw him overturn a 0:3 deficit to emerge victorious at 7:5. The set win was a testament to Zverev’s tenacity and determination, but it did not guarantee his overall security in the match.
Regrettably for Zverev, the third set didn’t quite go his way. He lost his serve immediately and found himself trailing. The powerful and precise play of Rublev proved to be a formidable challenge, and Zverev struggled to regain his composure. Ultimately, the match slipped through his fingers, marking another defeat in a year that has seen several face-offs between the two friends.
In the end, it was an unfortunate outcome for Zverev in Vienna, but his sights remain set on the ATP Finals. With a strong position in the rankings, he still has a chance to finish the season on a high note and potentially even face his friend Rublev once more on the grand stage of Turin.