Tennis grand slams: Who is the greatest of all time?
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Alexander Zverev’s brother Mischa has named a new “top four” in men’s tennis – and it does not include Rafafel Nadal or Roger Federer. The German finished his most impressive season yet by winning the ATP Finals in Turin on Sunday, ending a five-match losing streak against Daniil Medvedev.
He finished the season ranked world number three, behind the Russian and world number one Novak Djokovic.
Zverev and Medvedev enjoyed a breakthrough season on the biggest stage, with each of them winning the most important titles of their career to date and both beating the Serb in the process.
Zverev defeated Djokovic in the semi-finals of the Olympic Games before going on to win the gold medal, while Mevedev ended the 34-year-old’s dream of winning the Calendar Slam as he won his first major title at the US Open.
Meanwhile, Stefanos Tsitsipas was one set away from winning his first Grand Slam at the French Open earlier this year, and ended 2021 at number four in the world rankings.
The trio achieved these results largely with Nadal and Federer on the sidelines due to injury, and despite a lack of matches this year, the Spaniard ended the season in the top 10 for the 17th successive year, while the Swiss maestro sits inside the top 20.
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Following Zverev, Medvedev and Tsitsipas’ rise and the struggles of two of the greats of the game this year, the older Zverev sibling believes there is now a new-look “big four” in the game.
“We also have to wait and see how things go with Nadal in the coming year. Is he coming back or not? How does he play the clay court season?,” he told Eurosport.
“From my point of view, the new top four are Djokovic, Medvedev, Sascha and Tsitsipas. That’s just my feeling; that can, of course, still change.”
Despite Zverev’s stellar season, he has yet to win a Grand Slam and has only made it to one final so far.
However, the 34-year-old is confident his younger sibling can win a major in the future and insists he is a better player than he was back in 2018, when he won his first ATP finals crown.
“Compared to his last ATP Finals victory in 2018, he plays better, more mature, more intelligent and more complete in the overall package,” he said. “He is the best Zverev there has been so far, but he can get even better.
“Sascha is one of the 10 players who have become world champions [ATP Finals] more than once. This list includes players like McEnroe, Borg, Becker and Sampras,” he added.
“From a purely statistical point of view, it should be enough for a Grand Slam victory. I don’t want to rely too much on the past, but rather see how Sascha can develop further in the future.”
Zverev beat Medvedev 6-4 6-4 in an hour and 15 minutes on Sunday to win the final match and final title of the season.
It means the German ends the year with the most titles of any male player this season with six.
The victory came one day after Zverev defeated Djokovic in the semi-final, putting an end to the world No 1’s stunning season.
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