Alexander Zverev pulled off the biggest win of his career when he defeated Stan Wawrinka to win the St. Petersburg Open on Sunday.
The German edged the US Open winner 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 on the hard courts of the Russian city to claim his first ATP 250 title.
It is a breakthrough title for the 19-year-old who has risen steadily through the ATP rankings to 24th, with many experts earmarking him as a future great.
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Zverev saved three break points before finally breaking the Swiss to take a 4-2 lead. After consolidating, he broke Wawrinka to love in the final game to take the opening set.
After seeing off four more break points early in the second set, Zverev would finally succumb to Wawrinka, who took a 3-1 lead on his way to claiming the second set to force a decider.
Wawrinka looked to have settled his nerves at 3-1 up in the final set, but a resilient Zverev broke back to level matters.
At 5-5 and deuce, Zverev rallied to win the final two points for one final break, leaving him to negotiate a service game, which he did with aplomb.
The watershed victory put an end to Wawrinka’s ten match winning streak.
“This victory is something special,” Zverev, who becomes the youngest winner on the ATP tour since Marin Cilic in 2008, told atpworldtour.com.
“I played all the finals well. I lost to Dominic Thiem on clay and I could have won against Florian Mayer on the grass. Now I’m very happy with the win, especially over such a great player like Stan.”
Meanwhile Wawrinka heaped praise on his young opponent.
“We showed high-quality tennis,” said the three-time major winner.
“I was struggling in the third set. I had chances but I didn’t manage to convert them. He deserved the win.”
While this is Zverev’s biggest scalp to date, by the looks of things, there are many more to come.