Written by Staff Writer at CNN
Alex Zverev’s two-set victory against Dominic Thiem in the decisive match of the ATP Finals will prove to be his career highlight to date. But the German’s eyes were fixed on so much more as he claimed his first title at the final tournament of the year in London.
“Of course winning Wimbledon in July, playing here and winning the final is top of the rankings for sure,” Zverev told reporters after the match at the O2 Arena.
“But for me more and more the aim, what I think is realistic, the goal of myself and my team, is to one day achieve a slam title.
“To win a grand slam, all tournaments and all players need to do it and finish it. It’s the next step in my career. I want to be the next one and hopefully get that step.”
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Zverev’s Wimbledon title came just 12 months after he said he would quit the ATP Tour unless he claimed a grand slam.
The 20-year-old, who became the second youngest player ever to reach a season-ending championship, also said he planned to move to his home country to improve his chances of success.
Victory over Thiem — who had been three times runner-up at the season-ending event — will certainly boost the German’s confidence as he heads to next year’s Australian Open in January, where he will aim to secure his maiden major title.
But while his all-action style is suited to what is expected to be a deep run in Melbourne, Zverev hasn’t given up on the possibility of completing a career grand slam in New York next year.
“Well, I have two years left on my contract with the Sony Ericsson Open and I’m going to put everything on the line to do my best,” said Zverev.
“There is every chance that I will win it but I want to start as well as I can. If things go in my favor then of course I will not rule anything out.
“But this is a new start for me and I want to try to get wins in 2018 and see where things go. I want to leave everything on the court and start with a new chapter, a new year and a new start.”
Having narrowly missed out on a spot in the finals, the Austrian — who had been named the ATP Finals runner-up for the past two years — was quick to make the most of the moment when he broke to take the first set 6-4.
But the 20-year-old, who beat Rafael Nadal in the third round to reach the final, eventually prevailed 6-7 (1-7), 6-3, 6-3 to claim the biggest title of his career.