England is playing on Zverev’s mind

Written by By Staff Writer Staff Writer

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption He trains in Berlin, where Alexander Zverev is coached by father and former pro Ilhan

With Alexander Zverev in the midst of a successful title reign in his home city, can 2017 be the year that the young German finally takes his first grand slam title?

After winning his second Masters 1000 title in New York on Sunday with a five-set victory over Kevin Anderson, the 20-year-old went into the year-end ATP Finals at London’s O2 Arena with a 25-7 record for the year.

But the former world number three, who plays Andy Murray on Monday at 11:30 BST, has not yet managed to muster the sustained success in big tournaments that he has at amateur and junior level.

In his rookie Grand Slam season, Zverev fell at the third round at the Australian Open and fourth round at the French Open, before sliding out of the third round at Wimbledon.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption In New York on Sunday, Zverev almost served out the match at 5-3 in the fifth set

In the last 11 months he has managed a semi-final appearance at the Australian Open and the quarter-finals at Wimbledon, as well as reaching the semi-finals at Roland Garros. He also reached the last eight of the US Open last year, only to be defeated by eventual champion Stan Wawrinka.

Now, after winning his second Masters 1000 title at Queen’s Club in June and continuing his winning streak in New York, he could come into this week’s four-man event with a healthy head of steam ahead of him.

This week’s tournament in London, after all, has been something of a reward for top-ranked Andy Murray for his participation in the ATP Finals. But if Zverev can replicate his recent form, he will certainly make himself a player to watch.

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