Geneva, Germany’s Alexander Zverev captured his first title of the season with a see-saw 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (10-8) victory in Geneva Open final over Chile’s Nicolas Jarry, who had two match points but came up just short.
The championship match at this clay-court tennis event on Saturday was marred by two long rain delays before the fifth-ranked Zverev finally clinched the win in two hours and 37 minutes, reports Efe news.
Zverev dominated the first set, breaking Jarry’s serve in the second game and having chances to get an insurance break in both the fourth and sixth games.
He was unable to convert those chances but still wrapped up the set comfortably in the ninth game by holding serve at love.
The 75th-ranked Jarry also faced a break point in the opening game of the second set, but after getting out of danger he grabbed a 4-2 advantage by breaking Zverev’s serve for the first time.
A few games later, Jarry wrapped up the second set when a Zverev return of serve sailed far over the baseline.
Both players stayed on serve throughout the third set to set up a deciding tiebreaker, which featured some dramatic twists and turns.
Zverev appeared to have the situation under control when he took a two-mini-break lead at 4-0 and once again at 5-2 when Jarry badly misplayed a forehand passing shot.
The Chilean got one mini-break back but still faced three match points when serving at 3-6 in the tiebreaker.
He saved two of them on his own serve and then made the score 6-6 when he retrieved a Zverev drop shot and ended up finishing off the point with a forehand volley winner.
Jarry then had a match point on his own serve at 7-6 but dumped a backhand volley in the net to squander it.
Serving down 7-8, Zverev saved another match point when Jarry netted a forehand and then arrived at his fourth match point by striking a remarkable down-the-line backhand passing shot winner.
In the end, Jarry’s inconsistency proved the difference as he sent a forehand approach shot meters over the baseline on the final point.
“It was a very tough match. He was playing aggressively, serving big and hitting everything he can,” Zverev was quoted as saying afterward on the ATP Tour’s Web site. “I thought I was in control until the rain came, but I’m happy to find a way. I felt it could have gone either way.”
Zverev, who won the elite, season-ending ATP Finals last November and appeared poised for a possible run at a maiden Grand Slam title and the No. 1 ranking in 2019, is back in the winner’s circle after a long title drought and some early-season struggles.
He has failed to reach the semifinals of any of the big tournaments this season and had come up short in his only other championship match this year, losing to mercurial Australian Nick Kyrgios in the Mexican Open final in early March.