Alexander Zverev’s quest for his first title victory at the Rothenbaum Tennis Complex moved a step closer on Saturday afternoon. The 26-year-old German delighted the 10,000 spectators on Center Court by delivering a stunning display of tennis that culminated with his 6-2, 6-4 win over French teenager Arthur Fils, which has advanced him to his maiden Hamburg European Open final.
Zverev was in imperious form when he struck seven aces and won 77 per cent of his first-service points. The World No. 19 saved all three break points he faced and converted three of his own four break-point opportunities to succeed in one hour and 31 minutes.
“I am extremely happy, especially holding my composure in the end,” said Zverev, who was aware of Fils’ strengths after the 19-year-old knocked out World No. 4 Caspar Ruud in a very dominant way during Friday’s quarterfinals. “I knew that Caspar and I have different games styles. Caspar plays with a lot more spin, a bit higher, something Arthur maybe likes. I knew that I had to take the time away, playing a lot quicker and a lot flatter. I did that well today.”
Zverev, who is yet to drop a set this week, is eyeing to win his 20th ATP career title in his backyard on Sunday. The Hamburg native has captured four trophies on home soil, winning twice in Munich (2017, 2018) and two times in Cologne (2020). Zverev could earn a milestone victory becoming the first German man to win the Hamburg event since Michael Stich in 1993.
“It is always the nicest at home, but it the end of the day it will be another difficult match tomorrow. I am looking forward to it,” said Zverev.
Djere dismantles Zhang
Earlier, Laslo Djere cruised past Zhizhen Zhang of China 6-3, 6-2 in exactly 60 minutes. In his second Hamburg semi-final after 2021, the 28-year-old from Serbia hardly missed a shot, hit 28 winners and broke his rival’s serve three times.
“I am very happy the way I played. This was my best match of the year, at least on clay. It didn’t give him a lot of chances. He is a great player, has a huge serve. I surprised myself a bit today,” the 57th-ranked Djere said of his performance today.
“I built up some confidence during this week with three wins. I was happy to reach the semis of an ATP 500 event. Everything worked out very well. I am trying not to make a big deal out of it being in the final and trying to see it as any other match.”
Djere, who will be appear in his first tour-level final of the season, is seeking his third ATP Tour career title following his triumphs in Rio 2019 and Sardinia 2020. Zverev has won both of the previous two meetings with the Serbian.
Sunday’s action will start with the doubles final at 12:30 p.m. local time as No. 3 seeds Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz of Germany will face fourth-seeded Belgians Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen.