Editor’s Note: ATPTour.com is resurfacing features to bring fans closer to their favourite players during the current suspension in tournament play. This story was originally published on 25 May 2019.
Alexander Zverev cemented his marathon man status on Saturday at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open. The top seed clinched his first ATP Tour title this season by winning his third consecutive three-setter, saving two match points against a determined Nicolas Jarry to prevail 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(8).
“It was a very tough match. He was playing aggressively, serving big and hitting everything he can,” said Zverev. “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.”
The German had struggled for form since finishing runner-up this March in Acapulco (l. to Kyrgios). Zverev arrived in Geneva with a 6-8 record in his previous eight tournaments, including an opening-round loss to Jarry last month at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, which saw him squander a match point. He now has 11 ATP Tour titles, all of which have come in less than three years.
“When I start playing good, I don’t worry about titles. I know that I can be one of the best players in the world when I find my rhythm,” said Zverev. “This week definitely helped with that.”
Zverev also survived three-set battles this week against Bolivian Hugo Dellien and Argentine Federico Delbonis to reach the final, but the extra on-court time helped his game. He hit 41 aces this week, with 35 coming in his past three matches. Zverev led the tournament in first-serve return points won (38%, 100 of 263).
Jarry powered into the Geneva final without dropping a set. He went into Saturday’s final leading the tournament in second-serve points won (67%, 54 of 81), service games won (95%, 37 of 39) and break points saved (78%, 7 of 9). The 23-year-old still seeks his first ATP Tour title, having also finished runner-up last year in Sao Paulo (l. to Fognini).
“I don’t have the words to talk about it. I did my best, had some chances and fought until the last point. It didn’t go my way,” said Jarry. “I just have to keep on fighting and give myself the chance to compete for another title.”
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The match appeared to be firmly in Zverev’s hands at the beginning. He raced out to a 3-0 lead and comfortably took the opening set before rain halted proceedings with Zverev leading 6-3, 0-1.
Play resumed after 90 minutes and it was Jarry who came out of the gate first. A backhand error from Zverev gave the Chilean the lone break of the second set to lead 4-2, but a second rain delay took place right after Jarry held in the next game. After another lengthy suspension, Jarry maintained his advantage to send the match into a deciding set.
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Both players traded service holds to force a third-set tie-break. A pair of groundstroke errors from Jarry gave Zverev a 3/0 lead and the top seed rode that momentum to a 6/3 advantage. Jarry refused to budge, saving the first championship point with a stretch backhand volley winner. He followed it up with a forehand winner and forehand volley winner to even the score at 6/6.
A double fault from Zverev gave Jarry his first championship point at 7/6, but the Chilean hit a routine volley into the net. Another championship point came and went at 8/7 as Jarry misfired on a forehand. Zverev laced a difficult backhand passing shot winner at 8/8 to earn a fourth championship point and made good on his opportunity. As Jarry sent a forehand long and dropped to his knees, Zverev raised his arms in triumph as he wrapped up the win in two hours and 36 minutes.
Zverev picked up 250 ATP Ranking points and €90,390 for his week. Jarry earned 150 ATP Rankings points and €48,870.
Both players will now turn their attention to Roland Garros. Zverev, seeded fifth, start his campaign against Aussie John Millman, while Jarry faces a challenging opening test against eighth-seeded Argentine Juan Martin del Potro.