November 22, 2021
Sascha Zverev ended a two-year drought against Daniil Medvedev – and left everyone predicting Grand Slam glory for the brilliant German in 2022.
A major would provide the last piece in the jig-saw after Zverev took the Olympic title and a second year-end final.
Could Wimbledon 2022 offer the opportunity for Sascha to cement his place at the very top of our sport?
It’s only a few months until we find out who will prevail at the spiritual home of tennis!
For now Zverev can savour a fantastic year on court.
Sascha was truly joyous when victory came at last against his toughest opponent. He spread his arms wide and laughed as he looked to the heavens.
No one can say Zverev didn’t deserve his moment. He turned the tables on US Open champion Medvedev after losing to the Russian again earlier in this ATP tournament.
Sascha kept showing extraordinary determination to end his year on a high, though.
He had beaten the great Novak Djokovic in a thrilling three-set semi-final the day before the Turin show-piece.
You would have thought that marathon might have left the 24-year-old jaded. Instead he barely put a foot wrong in a 6-4, 6-4 romp involving some super-human serving.
True, the world number three relied upon a little luck at the net for his early first-set service break.
And Daniil lost composure at the start of the second to leave the way open for the slightly younger man.
But the pressure was constant and the level extraordinary from the eventual winner.
Medvedev failed to mix it up enough. But then again he was hardly given the chance to do so.
Zverev seemed amazed by his own level when it mattered. He explained: ‘You’re talking about the perfect match? Well I just won the World Tour Finals against someone who beat me five times in a row.
‘I had to play a great match and it’s special. I’m super-thrilled and super-happy right now.
‘There’s no better way to end the season. But I’m also very much looking forward to next year already, even though I have just finished a match.’
That desire to look ahead shows his hunger for a so-far elusive first Grand Slam title. Sascha will go to Australia at the start of 2022 full of confidence.
And Zverev will arrive at Wimbledon 2022 as a big contender for the title.
German fans will hope for a champion at the home of tennis in the tradition of the great Boris Becker or Steffi Graf.
Wherever Sascha finds that major first, it is surely coming. Every expert is convinced it’s only a matter of time for Zverev as he grows in mental strength.
The player’s mindset suggests he will achieve his target sooner rather than later.
‘I have succeeded on every single level, and there’s one thing missing,’ Zverev said. ‘I hope I can do that next year.’
If he serves with such impeccable self-assurance then he can’t be stopped from achieving that dream.
Sascha didn’t try too hard or overhit in the final. His executions were clinical and relentless, until Medvedev finally began to look at his box in despair.
The rankings don’t lie and the new Big Three are Djokovic, Medvedev and Zverev.
Anything Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer can achieve from here will be a bonus for their fans and for world tennis as we witness the changing of the guard.
It means there could be a glorious unpredictability about Wimbledon 2022 – and perhaps even a new champion.
Zverev hasn’t done too well on grass so far in his career. But improvement will come as he builds on that phenomenal serve and increases his all-court mobility.
We expect Sascha to go deep when the greatest show on earth gets under way at the height of the English summer.
What a year this has been! The emergence of Emma Raducanu and her US Open triumph was the highlight for the Brits.
But Wimbledon 2022 is centenary year at the Championships. History will ooze from every corner of the All England Club as we remember the last 100 years of sporting battles at the same unique location.
Will you join us to watch Emma, Zverev and the new generation take on the living legends of our sport?
We can make sure you have some of the best seats in the house for the most historic Wimbledon of them all.