Sascha Zverev came up just a couple of points shy of winning the U.S. Open a year ago against Dominic Thiem.
Is he poised to win his first major title in New York three weeks from now?
Zverev will head into the Open on an 11-match winning streak after dispatching his old friend Andrey Rublev, 6-2, 6-3, in just 59 minutes in the Western & Southern Open final to pick up $654,815. He dominated the Russian, winning 93 percent of points on his first serve and making just six unforced errors against 16 winners while converting 5-of-10 break points.
“I hope [I can keep it up] because the U.S. Open starts in just a week’s time,” Zverev said on Tennis Channel. “Basically I want to keep it up and maybe play even better there and I think that’s the goal for everybody that’s going there.”
He added: “One of the biggest tournaments of teh year is ocming up and I want to do well there.
Zverev is among the favorites to win the Open, just after world No. 1 Novak Djokovic who is seeking to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to capture the Grand Slam, and world No. 2 Daniil Medevev, who lost to Rublev in the semifinals.
Zverev knocked Djokovic out of the Olympics in the semifinals and then went on to win the gold medal.
“It’s different, it’s a Grand Slam, it’s best-of-five matches,” he said. “Everybody is playing their best tennis, everybody is extremely motivated but so am I. I hope I can continue doing what I’m doing.
“I think that Novak obviously will still be the favorite. I think Daniil is incredible shape and form, Andrey’s in incredible form and Stef [Tsitsipas] as well so those are the guys to look out for and hopefully at the end of the day we’ll all play great tennis and the best player will win.”
Andy Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open champion, believes Zverev will head to New York at the top of his game.
“The guy has his game, he’s going through the court more consistently,” he said on Tennis Channel. “He looks great right now.”