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Zverev wins tennis gold for Germany

August 1, 2021

Alexander Zverev has recorded a straight-sets victory over Russian opponent Karen Khachanov, becoming Germany's first Olympic singles champion since Steffi Graf in 1988. It's the first significant victory of his career.

Tokyo2020 Olympia Alexander Zverev
Image: Marijan Murat/dp/picture alliance

Germany’s Alexander Zverev defeated the Russian Karen Khachanov 6-3, 6-1 at the Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo to become the first German Olympic tennnis champion for 33 years. 

Zverev produced yet another dominant display in Sunday's final, claiming a straight sets victory in just 70 minutes.

Earlier in the week, the fourth seed battled from a set down to defeat world number one Novak Djokovic to reach the final. That performance included a 10-game winning streak which turned the contest on its head. 

This match was far more straightforward, however. Zverev broke Khachanov's serve in the third game of the opening set and never looked back. He became even more dominant in the second set, racing to a 4-0 lead over his opponent. When victory was assured minutes later, Zverev dropped to his knees in euphoria before embracing Khachanov at the net.

Olympic gold represents the first major title of Zverev's career. The 24-year-old is widely believed to be the long-term successor to the Big Three — Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal — but is yet to win a grand slam. His best performance on the tour remains 2020's appearance in the US Open final, where he lost to Dominic Thiem. Tennis fans will see this victory as a potentially vital step forward in his career.