Alexander Zverev believes that the Red Group at the Nitto ATP Finals, which begins on Sunday, is the slightly tougher group in Turin. The German will play Daniil Medvedev, Matteo Berrettini and Hubert Hurkacz in the round-robin stages.
“Our group, I think, from what I see, is maybe the tougher group,” said Zverev at the Pala Alpitour on Friday. “Simply because on an indoor hard court, the players in the group are extremely difficult. Hubi [Hurkacz] is playing extremely well, Matteo can play well on this surface and Daniil can play well having won this title last year.”
Zverev won the 2018 Nitto ATP Finals title and will compete at the season finale for the fifth straight year.
“I have played good tennis this year,” said Zverev. “I’ve won five titles and I’m the only player who has won multiple [ATP] Masters [1000 titles] this year. It comes with good tennis, also, at the Olympics, I won a gold medal. I am looking forward to this tournament. I didn’t come here just as a participant, but I want to win matches and do well here.
“You have to enjoy it, because being here means you had a fantastic season and you’re among the best eight players in the world. It’s all about enjoying the moment and trying to be the best you can be on the court, but also enjoying the privilege of being here.”
In 2021, the 24-year-old won the Tokyo Olympics gold medal (d. Khachanov), two ATP Masters 1000 titles at the Mutua Madrid Open (d. Berrettini) and Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati (d. Rublev), plus two ATP 500 crowns: the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC in Acapulco (d. Tsitsipas) and the Erste Bank Open in Vienna (d. Tiafoe).
When asked if there had been a decisive shift by the younger generation this season, Zverev admitted, “I do think we have made a big step forwards this year. Barring Rome and Paris, all the young guys have won the Masters tournaments. Obviously, me winning the Olympics was a big statement and Daniil winning the US Open title too.
“The young guys are coming through and it’s a natural curve. Novak is deservedly the No. 1 right now. If you win three Slams you have to be No. 1, then there is Daniil, Stef [Tsitsipas], myself and Andrey [Rublev] in the Top 5. The Top 10 is getting younger, and it’s definitely good for the sport.”
Zverev, with a 55-14 match record this year, opens his Red Group campaign against Berrettini on Sunday night. “Matteo is a superstar here, everyone likes him. I look forward to the match, we are among the best players in the world so there are no easy matches. I definitely look forward to that match and the energy on Sunday.”