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Alexander Zverev primed for French Open after Rome Masters win

Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev defeated Nicolas Jarry 6-4, 7-5 on Monday morning (AEST) in the ATP Masters 1000 Rome final at Foro Italico.

In winning his sixth Masters title, the German star returns to No.4 in the world, usurping Daniil Medvedev.

Zverev also puts himself in a brilliant position ahead of the Roland-Garros, which kicks off on Sunday, May 26.

Favourites fall but Zverev remains firm in Rome

Bookmakers had Zverev as the third favourite heading into the clay court tournament, with BetOnline returning +1100 for the No.3 seed to prevail.

Novak Djokovic was the heavy favourite, paying just +170 for victory in Rome. The 24-time Grand Slam champion has won the Rome Masters six times, reaching the final on another six occasions.

However, when Djokovic crashed out of the tournament in just his second match, the draw was blown wide open. The bookies’ second favourite, Stefanos Tsitsipas, was also upset, falling to eventual finalist Jarry in three tight sets in the quarter-finals.

Zverev, on the other hand, was rock solid throughout.

The German dropped only one set across the entire tournament, with his only scare coming in the semi-finals against the Djokovic-conquering Alejandro Tabilo. He fell behind 6-1 in the opening set before powering back to win a second-set tiebreak and prevail 6-2 in the third.

In the final, Zverev put on a display of clinical tennis.

He landed his first serve 80% of the time and won an incredible 95% of those points. Behind this powerful platform, the 27-year-old made just five unforced errors all match.

Despite a strong showing from Jarry, Zverev was simply too good and closed the match out in two tight sets.

The victory was Zverev’s first in Rome since 2017, when he lifted the trophy as a 20-year-old.

Is this Zverev’s best shot at a Grand Slam title?

Off the back of his success in Rome, the big question is whether Zverev can capitalise on this momentum at Roland-Garros.

The German has long been touted as a potential Grand Slam champion, only to fall short on several occasions. Now, however, conditions seem to be perfect.

Djokovic is having an uncharacteristically poor season, going titleless across the first five months of the year. Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz are struggling with injuries. Rafael Nadal is on his last legs, Daniil Medvedev is a self-declared hardcourt specialist, and Holger Rune is far too mercurial to be a threat.

Top tennis bookmakers still have Zverev on the fourth line of French Open title betting, paying +600 behind Alcaraz (+175), Djokovic (+275) and Sinner (+400).

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