Ever-improving Zverev takes stock after loss

Rising star Alexander Zverev took time to reflect on his season so far after his exit from the Cincinnati Masters on Wednesday. 

The German fell against fellow NextGen star Frances Tiafoe in just the second round, but he has much to celebrate so far this season.

Zverev claimed his maiden Masters 1000 title at the Italian Open in May before claiming his second at the Rogers Cup earlier this month, ousting the superlative Roger Federer in the final. 

"It's been great…I won back-to-back weeks, two big events," quipped the 20-year-old on atpworldtour.com.

"Visiting Montreal was very, very special, as well. It's been a positive summer so far. I beat a lot of Top 10 players and have beaten a lot of great players, a lot of tough matches."

Looking ahead to the US Open, Zverev will no doubt be eager to improve on last year, where he was bundled out in the second round. In fact, the world number seven ranks himself up there with Rafael Nadal and Federer as one of the favourites. 

"I think Roger and Rafa are the strongest ones and a few guys coming after that…I think I am involved in that group," continued Zverev, who is yet to reach the last eight of a grand slam. 

"I am in that small group of players. Obviously, the two favourites are Roger and Rafa.

"So I feel very confident the way I was playing in the last two weeks. I feel very confident how I am playing right now. And I think going into the US Open, I feel the best I have ever felt maybe going into a Slam. That gives me a lot of confidence, and hopefully, I can show that on court, as well."

The 137th edition of the US Open begins on 28 August at Flushing Meadows in New York.

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