Alexander Zverev Wins Gold at the Olympics Men’s Tennis Singles Final

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Today, on the final afternoon of the men’s singles tennis schedule at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the German fifth-seeded player Alexander Zverev stormed to victory against Karen Khachanov, representing Russia. In a stunning finale that saw Zverev take the match in just 79 minutes and two sets, Zverev beat Khachanov 6-3, 6-1.

It caps what has been one of the most impressive showings of Zverev’s career, with the rising tennis star losing just one set across the entire tournament in his nail-biting semifinal against the first-seeded Serbian player Novak Djokovic. Not only was this victory something of a surprise win, but it also marked the end of Djokovic’s journey to achieving the Golden Slam this year, after he took home the top prizes at the Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon Championships. 

Silver medalist Karen Khachanov of Team ROC, gold medalist Alexander Zverev of Team Germany, and bronze medalist Pablo Carreño Busta of Team Spain pose on the podium during the medal ceremony for the tennis men’s singles today at Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo.Photo: Getty Images

After Zverev took to the Olympic podium, he noted that it felt especially significant given he was representing his home country of Germany following his multicultural upbringing. While Zverev’s parents were born in Russia, they moved to Hamburg shortly after the Wall came down; officially a resident of Monaco today, he also spent significant time in Miami as a teenager while training. But as he told Vogue in 2016: “[I feel] more German than anything else.”

It was a sentiment he echoed while speaking to reporters after the match. “This is so much bigger than anything else in sports,” Zverev said. “The gold medal for me, the value for me is incredible because you’re not playing for yourself, you’re playing for your whole country. This is an incredible feeling for me right now.”

Zverev has been earmarked by many in the tennis world as one of the most exciting young players to watch as far back as 2016, with many describing Zverev and his contemporaries Khachanov and Dominic Thiel as representing a new generation of male players with a more creative and unpredictable style, breaking from the slick professionalism of the Big Four who have dominated the men’s tour for more than a decade. 

Karen Khachanov congratulates Alexander Zverev on his victory following their match.Photo: Getty Images

His faceoff today against Khachanov served as ultimate proof—if anyone still needed it, after last year’s thrilling U.S. Open final between Zverev and Thiel that saw the latter eventually take home the top prize—that Zverev and his peers are more than ready to live up to this early potential. While he’s still yet to secure a Grand Slam title, given his steady rise up the ranks to become the world’s fifth-seeded player, don’t be surprised if you see Alexander Zverev taking home trophies elsewhere soon, too.

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