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By Alberto Amalfi | @Tennis_Now | Sunday, May 19, 2024


Alexander Zverev won 37 of 39 first-serve points beating Nicolas Jarry 6-4, 7-5 to collect his second Rome crown and 22nd career championship.

Photo credit: Mike Hewitt/Getty

Riding a commanding serve, Alexander Zverev is Roman ruler again.

In a clash of big hitters, Zverev disarmed Nicolas Jarry 6-4, 7-5 to capture his 22nd career championship, including his second Rome crown.

More: Break Ups & Love Matches

"Winning my first ever [Masters title] in Rome, and also winning my first after the injury, it is a very special place for me,” victorious Zverev said on court after claiming his sixth Masters 1000 title, and first since August 2021 in Cincinnati. “I said it in the beginning of the week: if Rome is a place of firsts for me then I’m extremely happy about it – obviously it has been a very special week.”

Seven years after a 20-year-old Zverev broke through to win the 2017 Rome title, he was near-flawless on serve today.

The Olympic gold-medal champion served 80 percent, won 37 of 39 first-serve points and did not face a break point in a one hour, 41-minute triumph.

Afterward, Jarry said combination of sheer pace and befuddling trajectory makes Zverev one of the world's most dangerous servers.

"His service, apart from being very good, is very different from all the other serves. He takes the ball very high, so the bounce is very special," Jarry said. "It took me time to get the trajectory of it.

"I needed a little bit more time to get used to it. I think that's where it all went through.

"Once the point started, I was feeling comfortable, stable. I was feeling good. I wanted to keep hanging there. I knew that if I could stay a little bit longer, I would have some chances that hopefully I could make it. But it was a bit late."

Zverev dropped only five points on serve in the match in winning his sixth ATP Masters 1000 title.

Swinging freely, Zverev won 12 of the first 13 points played on his serve and stamped five love holds in his first six service games.

World No. 5 Zverev broke to build a one-set lead.

When Zverev serves with this imposing authority, he believes he can beat anyone.

"Look, I've said it many times before, and I'm going to say it again: I'm somebody that I know when I don't play well, I can lose to anyone, but when I play well, I know I can beat anyone," Zverev said. "That's my mindset. That's how I think about it.

"I know I have to focus on myself, to find my rhythm in Paris the way I did here. Then everything is on my own racquet."

The 28-year-old Jarry was the first Chilean to contest a Masters 1000 final since Fernando Gonzalez played the 2007 Rome final. 

The flat-hitting Jarry had knocked off two-time Monte-Carlo champion Stefanos Tsitsipas and 14th-seeded American Tommy Paul en route to the biggest final of his career.

Zverev is a better mover around the clay and played cleaner tennis today. Jarry committed 29 unforced errors, 21 more than Zverev.

The lanky Chilean double-faulted twice in succession to face two championship points in the 10th game. Credit Jarry for digging in and denying both championship points working through a hard-fought hold for 5-all.

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Undeterred, Zverev held at 15 for 6-5.

On his fourth championship point, Zverev closed a straight-sets win dropping to his knees in exultation.

Zverev arose with clay caked on his knees and a firm goal in his mind: Win a maiden major at Roland Garros.

After blowing out his ankle and tearing three ligaments in the 2022 Roland Garros semifinals vs. Rafael Nadal, Zverev truly feels he has unfinished business in Paris. 

"It's the most physical one for me, in my opinion. It's the physically toughest one," Zverev said of Roland Garros. "But I think it's the one where I have the most memories, good or bad. US Open, yes, I was two points away from winning the title. Of course, that's also one that kind of sticks out.

"Roland Garros, so close to being in the final in 2021 I felt like. I was playing some of the best tennis of my life in 2022. Those kind of things, they are still in the back of my mind.

"Yeah, that's the one that I want to do well in."


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