Published: Sun, May 28, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Rome Masters champ Alexander Zverev backs Rafael Nadal for French Open

"I knew that I needed to be aggressive from the first ball to the last", - said Zverev at the awards ceremony.

"I knew I had to be aggressive from the first point on and to the last", added Zverev, who has known Djokovic for many years having trained with the Serbian.

Then of course he analyzed his loss to Zverev: 'He's making his mark already. He has won just one tournament and was bounced early in the Australian Open, the year's first Grand Slam event. But also, on the other hand, he s someone that nurtures the family values, philanthropy work.

"I don't look at these kind of stats, who is the youngest player to have a Masters 1000 title or things like this".

"Yesterday was no wind and slow and just - I just couldn't find the proper rhythm, proper positioning on the court".

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Agassi is a former world No 1 and had retired in 2006 from competitive tennis.

On his decision to link-up with Agassi, who won five Grand Slams as a player, current world No 2 Djokovic said: 'Andre is someone that I have tremendous respect for as a person and as a player.

Djokovic added: "We are both excited about working together, but we have no long-term agreements and he is not going to be with me for the whole tournament".

Touted as a future world No.1, the title will move Zverev up to a career-high No. 10 in the rankings.

In the final match of Zverev demonstrated tennis, close to flawless.

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"Getting the trophy from Mr. Laver is something very special and something I'll remember for the rest of my career", Zverev said.

In the women's draw, second-seeded Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic lost 6-3, 7-6 (9) to No.8 seed Elina Svitolina. Zverev is newly 20-years-old. "Unfortunately this week you didn't win, but I'm sure as we get closer to Paris you'll be one of the favourites for the title". "Everything just came together and I'm very happy that it's happened in such a big tournament".

The third set was a one-sided affair as Svitolina won 6-1 in 30 minutes. I think staying in top 10 will be very hard, as well, because other guys like David Goffin and other players will want to break into the top 10.

Alexander Zverev of Germany hits a return to Novak Djokovic of Serbia during the ATP Tennis Open final, on Monday at the Foro Italico in Rome.

The 21-year-old Kontaveit, who beat top-ranked Angelique Kerber in the second round, saved two break points before succumbing to Halep's clay-court prowess.

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Svitolina also required medical treatment from a trainer midway through the second set, for an apparent problem with her left leg.

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