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Alexander Zverev thanks 'soft guy' Dad after ATP Finals win

After sealing the biggest title of his young career, Alexander Zverev embraced his Mum and Dad -- as well as...

Posted: Nov 19, 2018 1:48 PM
Updated: Nov 19, 2018 1:48 PM

After sealing the biggest title of his young career, Alexander Zverev embraced his Mum and Dad -- as well as his dog.

Having nurtured his son's tennis progression, Sunday was a particularly poignant moment for Alexander Zverev Sr. as he watched the 21-year-old prodigy topple Novak Djokovic in straight sets and win the ATP World Tour Finals the day after ousting Roger Federer in the semifinals in London.

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"There were a lot of emotions hugging him. He had a lot of emotions as well," Zverev told CNN Sport's Christina Macfarlane after Sunday's victory.

"He's basically been coaching me for 21 years ... I can't thank him enough."

Visit cnn.com/sport for more news and videos

On the eve of the US Open, Zverev brought Ivan Lendl into his team, the eight-time grand slam champion who previously coached Andy Murray to his first major title in 2012.

While Lendl's influence already appears to be rubbing off on the young German, it's his father who Zverev singled out after claiming the tenth title of his career.

"The person he is, he's very quiet outside the court," he said.

"But on the court we do a lot of hard work and he has such a good heart. He's actually quite a soft guy as well."

READ: Zverev stuns Djokovic to win ATP Finals

'Unbelievably proud'

Zverev's 6-4 6-3 victory over Djokovic makes him the youngest winner of the season-ending tournament since the Serb himself in 2008 and the first German to lift the title since Boris Becker in 1995.

Zverev is thought by many to be a multiple grand slam champion in the future, the next star of the men's game once the likes of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic retire.

Yet for all his talent and potential, Zverev is yet to make his mark at a grand slam, his best performance to date coming at this year's French Open where he went down to Dominic Thiem in the quarterfinals.

Winning the Tour Finals in London, however -- and doing so by beating the two top-ranked players in the world -- is a significant milestone in Zverev's career.

"It feels amazing," said the 21-year-old German. "Winning this title and being able to play the matches that I've played is great for me.

"I knew I had to come out aggressive and I knew I had to play my best game, I'd obviously have no chance against Novak [otherwise].

"That's what I did today and I'm very happy with the outcome. I'm unbelievably proud -- I can't thank my team enough for what they've done for me."

READ: Round-up of the weekend's sporting action

Time for a holiday

Few would have looked past Djokovic winning a sixth Tour Finals title in London.

The Serb had won 35 of his past 37 matches heading into the encounter -- a period that saw him win at Wimbledon and the US Open, as well as returning to the top of the world rankings.

He hadn't dropped serve all week, but Zverev twice found ways to break his opponent thanks to strong hitting from the baseline, coupled with some uncharacteristic errors from Djokovic.

With a big serve powered by his 6-foot-6 frame, Zverev appears to have the tools to reach new heights at next year's grand slam events.

But goals for 2019, he admits, are far from his mind right now.

"I'm going on holiday to Dubai for a few days and then the Maldives," he says. "I don't want to think about anything else."

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