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Zverev Defeats Jarry For Masters 1000 Title In Rome

May 19th 2024

Zverev defeats Jarry 6-4, 7-5 for Masters 1000 title in Rome 

Alexander Zverev from Germany reached a career-high of #2 in 2022 but in the past several years has seen his ranking and reputation plummet; the former due to a severe ankle injury requiring surgery, and the latter to domestic abuse allegations.

While he has successfully reascended the rankings to #5, his reputation remains in question as his trial in Germany will soon commence. The two-time Nitto ATP Finals champion triumphed in Rome in 2017 and the following year reached the final. Having breezed through the first three rounds in straights, he battled from behind to conquer Alejandro Tabilo who dispatched world #1 Novak Djokovic in the third round.   

Nicolas Jarry from Chile is currently ranked #24 having reached a career high of #18 in January. The twenty-eight-year-old from Santiago is 16-11 on the season but has found form at the Foro Italico with impressive wins over reigning Monte Carlo champ and world #6 Stefanos Tsitsipas and in the penultimate round, #16 Tommy Paul.  

REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

While the German led the head-to-head 4-2, they split their four previous meetings on clay. Jarry has made six tour-level finals – all on clay – winning three. The Chilean competing in his first Masters 1000 final won the toss and elected to receive.

Zverev made 4/4 first serves including two aces and held at love while Jarry made 3/4 first serves and held at love to level. The German opened the third with a blistering backhand down the line and with two additional winners held at love. 

The Chilean donated two unforced errors to face 0-30 and following two deuce points, held for 2-2 with two consecutive colossal serves. With few extended rallies and spot serving, the 2020 US Open finalist held easily to 15 for 3-2 while Jarry struck three winners including his first ace to hold at love for 3-3.

Zverev returned the favor with his third love hold while Jarry serving with new balls, continued to misfire off the forehand. He faced double break point following three unforced errors but astonishingly held with an incredible forehand down the line and an ace out wide. Zverev made 3/4 first serves, hit two winners, and held at love for 5-4. Jarry missed four consecutive first serves and gifted three forehand errors the last to lose serve and the set. 

The German served first in the second and held at love and Jarry did the same to level. Zverev missed 3/5 first serves yet held to 15 for 2-1 while Jarry donated two more forehand errors, and faced double break point but held with pace and placement on an inside-out forehand. 

Zverev opened the fifth with an ace out wide and with an overhead smash held at love for 3-2. Jarry continued to mishit the forehand but with steady nerves and well-placed serves, held for 3-3.

Zverev serving with new balls opened with an ace out wide and held at love for the seventh time. Jarry struck two additional aces and held to 15 for 4-4 while Zverev made 6/6 first serves and held to 30 for 5-4

Jarry serving to stay in the match, donated two consecutive double faults and faced double match point but held to level with three consecutive first serves and a spectacular inside-out forehand. The crowd erupted in applause, eager for a tiebreak and deciding set.

Zverev gifted his first double fault but with an overhead smash and a whiffed forehand from his opponent, maintained the lead. Jarry serving to stay in the match and force the breaker, opened with a fantastic crosscourt forehand winner but soon faced match point following another errant forehand. 

He leveled at deuce when Zverev missed wide with the forehand pass but conceded the match when he overcooked another forehand. After 1 ¾ hours, Alexander Zverev was once again the champion of Rome. 

It was a high-quality if somewhat subdued final. Zverev put on a serving clinic winning 44/49 while not facing a break point. He struck 15 winners to 8 unforced errors and converted 2/9 break points.   

Jarry struck 10 forehand winners to 16 unforced errors. While not the outcome he had hoped for, the Chilean will carry confidence to the terre battue at Roland Garros and be seeded at the French Open.

Zverev will hope to parlay his fine performance in the Eternal City with victory in Paris but with a looming domestic abuse trial, it remains to be seen how he’ll navigate the pressure of a grand slam and the court of public opinion.