Germany’s Alexander Zverev took down Andrey Rublev of Russia 6-2, 6-3 in just 59 minutes on Sunday to win the Western & Southern Open at Mason, Ohio.
The third-seeded Zverev, ranked No. 5 in the world, won his 17th career singles title, his fifth title at the ATP Masters 1000 level and his fourth event of the season.
The victory follows on the heels of Zverev winning the men’s singles gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. He had never won a match at the Cincinnati-area event until this year.
“The first win I ever had on these courts was on Wednesday, four days ago, and now I have my first title here,” Zverev said in his on-court interview. “It has been an incredible week, a lot of great matches. It is an incredible feeling going into the U.S. Open.”
Zverev won 26 of 28 first-serve points and converted five break points in 10 opportunities. He now has an 11-match winning streak going just one week before the final Grand Slam of the season.
The fourth-seeded Rublev put up a fight, smashing 11 aces without committing a single double fault. Rublev, ranked No. 7 in the world, is still seeking his first ATP Masters 1000 title.
“I am grateful for the week that I had,” Rublev said. “(Cincinnati) is a special place for me with great memories. The final didn’t end my way, but Alexander was playing unbelievably today.”
Zverev broke Rublev’s serve in the first and third games of the match en route to a 4-0 first-set lead. Rublev would go on to save Zverev’s first set-point opportunity and tie the game 40-40, but Zverev pushed through with consecutive points to finish the set. He again broke Rublev to open the second set and encountered little trouble the rest of the way.
“I did not do a big celebration because I know how Andrey feels as well, because we have been best friends since we were 11 years old,” Zverev said. “And I know he is seeking his first Masters 1000 win but it is going to come very soon I think.”
Zverev had six aces and committed four double faults.
Zverev also won in Madrid and Acapulco earlier in the season before earning gold in Tokyo, where he took down Novak Djokovic, who was striving for a “golden slam” of four Grand Slams plus Olympic gold in a single year.
Australian Nick Kyrgios withdrew from his scheduled first-round match against Great Britain’s Andy Murray Sunday night with a knee injury, dashing hopes of a clash between two of the game’s stars in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Lucky loser Noah Rubin was selected to replace Kyrgios in the draw and battle Murray.
Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro, Italy’s Marco Cecchinato and Belarus’s Egor Gerasimov won their matches in the round of 64 Sunday.
Tung-Lin Wu of Chinese Taipei, Alexei Popyrin of Australia, Lucas Pouille of France and Denis Kudla made the field via two rounds of qualifiers.
–Field Level Media