Zverev wins Italian Open to set himself up as French Open contender

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Zverev wins Italian Open to set himself up as French Open contender

Alexander Zverev won the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome on Sunday to set himself up as a contender for the French Open, starting on May 26.

The German first lifted the trophy in the Italian capital back in 2017 and repeated that thanks to a 6-4 7-5 victory over unexpected finalist Nicolas Jarry.

The Chilean, who had beaten Stefanos Tsitsipas and Tommy Paul to reach the final, battled extremely hard to try to force a decider, saving three match points, but Zverev, who lost only five points on serve all afternoon, finally forced a decisive error, sinking to the clay in delight.

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It is a sixth title at Masters 1000 level for the German, who will overtake Daniil Medvedev as world No 4 on Monday, and a first since before the serious ankle injury he suffered at Roland Garros two years ago.

“It means a lot,” said Zverev, who lifted his first trophy since he broke his ankle in the French Open semi-finals in 2022.

“Obviously winning my first (Masters) title in Rome and winning my first after the injury, Rome is a very special place for me. A very, very special week.”

Zverev will now turn his attentions towards the French Open, which begins next Sunday, and he heads to Paris as one of the favourites for what appears one of the most open men’s Grand Slam tournaments in years.

“The focus is on Paris,” Zverev said. “But let me enjoy this one for a day or so, and then I’ll have my full focus on Paris.”

With neither Novak Djokovic nor Rafael Nadal in good form and Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner battling injuries, the path could be open for a host of possible contenders.

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Zverev’s support team member attempts to balance on a roller but instead meets the floor in a hard crash!

What’s coming up on Sky Sports Tennis?

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