Monday, 22 May 2017

Svitolina and Zverev take Rome

Novak Djokovic has lost to another of the rising stars in a major upset in the final of the Italian Open.
Alexander Zverev, only 20 years old, had already won two titles in 2017, but a Masters 1000 win has catapulted the German into the top ten and given the world the best evidence yet that he can be number one eventually.

Djokovic, after pummelling Dominic Thiem in the semi final, was hot favourite to win, but even the best returner in the business was unable to handle the consistent big serving of Zverev.

5 aces and facing no break points, Zverev won a tight first set 6-4, where Djokovic was far from underperforming. 
The second set was vastly different - Zverev won 84% of points on his serve, whereas. Djokovic won only 53% of points on his.

Zverev and Thiem are now entitled to believe they lead the next generation of men's tennis if the Big 4 ever decide to leave the top.

The women's final was also a surprise, if not the level of upset achieved with the Novak loss.
Elina Svitolina has won her fourth title for the year, two at Premier 5 level, and now is firmly in the top ten at number six, her career high ranking.

Simona Halep was the favourite beaten in a two hour battle which the RomaƄian third seed led 6-4.  In set two, serve was broken seven times before Svitolina held for 7-5 and the match was level.
Halep had rolled an ankle earlier in the match and it needed strapping late in set two.  It may have assisted Svitolina, but to be fair she was dominant in any case, rushing to 5-0 in the decider.
Halep won a token game, forcing the Ukranian to serve it out, which she did, winning 4-6 7-5 6-1.

Both finalists will warrant close attention in Paris when the second Grand Slam begins in a week. 

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