Saturday, June 30, 2018

Zverev Takes Eastbourne Title

Zverev Takes Eastbourne Title
Zverev Takes Eastbourne Title

Mischa Zverev defeated Lukas Lacko 64 64 to win the Nature Valley International title.

Zverev was a blanket at the net throughout the encounter, charging forward to cover every inch of Centre Court. The change in rhythm would rattle Lacko, whose unforced error count steadily rose throughout the 97-minute affair.

He converted an immediate break opportunity in the opening game of the match. Lacko had few answers for Zverev's game.

The Germa would battle for a second break after a 21-point game midway through the second set. Lacko did well to turn aside five opportunities but was unable to deny the sixth, as Zverev claimed an unassailable lead by 4-2. He secured the title with an ace on his first championship point.

"It feels amazing," said Zverev. "It was definitely one of the emotional moments in my life. Beating Andy Murray in Australia was special, but there you win a match, you're still in it and the tournament's not over. But here you're the last one standing at the end of the week and you have the trophy, so it's definitely a very unique feeling.

"I always wanted to win at least a title. For many years I didn't believe in myself. I didn't think I was going to do it, especially when I was ranked 1100. But thank God I have my family and my brother and the whole team, my wife who is always telling me, no, you can achieve things, you can do big things. Just believe in yourself, work hard, and it's going to pay off one day.

"Luckily I have them and luckily I was able to listen to them, believe in myself, and just keep working and wait for it. Finally, I'm here. It's incredible."

"As a player, you work towards being the best, even if it's not maybe No. 1 in the world, but being the best in the tournament in that particular week. You know, there are so many tournaments, but it doesn't matter. If you're the last one there on Sunday or Saturday, then means you were the best in that week at this place. And this is something that everyone works for. It's just a unique and great feeling.

"I hope it's going to help me in the future. It's going to take pressure off of me. It's going to give me more confidence, show me that, like, I can play five matches and win them all and win the tournament and I can do it physically and mentally. So I hope it's going to help me."

He earns 250 ATP Rankings points, rising 16 spots to a projected No. 51, while also taking home €117,930 in prize money.

Lacko, meanwhile, rises 21 spots to a projected No. 73 in the ATP Rankings.

At Wimbledon, Zverev opens against Pierre-Hugues Herbert, while Lacko faces qualifier Benjamin Bonzi in his opener.