Sunday, 1 July 2018

Mischa Zverev d Lacko and wins Eastbourne

Mischa Zverev served brilliantly in the opening set of the Nature Valley International final for the ATP Tour in Eastbourne. 

His classic serve volley game - so rare today - paid immediate dividends when he broke the serve of Lukas Lacko in the opening game.

He continually charged to the net and won 14 of 17 points on his first attempts from the service line, facing just a single break point for the set, which was saved.

Both players returned well on second serves, but Zverev was more successful reading the Slovakian first serve and he won seven of the eighteen points on offer there.

This all led to one service break in the set, converted by Zverev from four chances.  6-4

Set two was even better from Zverev on serve - only two points surrendered on first attempts, three when second serve required.

Midway through the set, Mischa secured the vital break, and it was enough to win the set, as Lukas could only create one break opportunity, which again failed conversion.

Zverev had eight break chances but the one did the damage and he lifted his first ATP Tour trophy 6-4 6-4.

Mischa Zverev created history on a number of fronts today:

His maiden title after eight years trying on the tour

The fourth straight year a player over 30 has won his first title, the others being Victor Estrella Burgos in 2015 (34), Paolo Lorenzi in 2016 (34), and Gilles Müller in 2017 (33).

The first time male siblings have won titles in the same year since 1989, when Emilio and Javier Sanchez did the job.

The eighth first time winner in the tour in 2018, same number as in the whole of 2017.

Lacko, meanwhile, failed to win his first title, this is second attempt having lost in Zagreb way back in 2012 to Mikhail Youzhny.

However he will rise 21 places to 73 in the world, and hope to continue the rise to eventually reach his career high of 44, achieved in January 2013.

Mischa Zverev rises 16 spots to 51, and will aspire to go further and reach his best of 25, achieved in July last year.

Lukas will play French qualifier Benjamin Bonzi, ranked 284, in the first round of Wimbledon next week.

Mischa will play another Frenchman, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, ranked 72, in the first round of Wimbledon next week.

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