Alexander Zverev has been selected as the final member to represent Team Europe at this year’s Laver Cup.
The 20-year-old World No.7 was announced as the latest team member at a press conference in New York on Wednesday ahead of the US Open.
Zverev, who marked his real breakthrough season with victory at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Montreal, will team-up with Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem and Tomas Berdych at the O2 arena in Prague from September 22-24.
Legend Bjorn Borg will lead the star-studded six as they take on a Rest of the World team, captained by another great – John McEnroe.
“I’m so excited and grateful for this opportunity,” the German told the Laver Cup website.
“My idol when I was growing up was Roger Federer, so to even compete against him was already extremely special. Now to be on a team with him is almost surreal.
“Then on top of that you have Rafael Nadal and other big stars in the same team. It’s going to be an incredible time.”
Meanwhile, Denis Shapovalov and Juan Martin Del Potro were announced as two new members of the ROTW team.
— Laver Cup (@LaverCup) August 23, 2017
Grigor Dimitrov captured his seventh and biggest career title Sunday, defeating Australia’s Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 7-5 to win the ATP Cincinnati Masters and boost his confidence for the US Open.
The 11th-ranked Bulgarian never dropped a set in taking the top prize of $954,225 and his first Masters title, a perfect stepping stone into the year’s last Grand Slam event that begins a week from Monday.
“In the big picture, it means a lot to me,” Dimitrov said. “I’m pretty confident after that win. This is what I’ve been practicing for. It’s my biggest win so far.
“I’m going to enjoy it for a day or two but then it’s back to the routine and prepare for the US Open.”
In the highest-level ATP final ever contested between two players born in the 1990s, Dimitrov collected his tour-best 24th hardcourt match victory of the year and third title of 2017 after Brisbane and Sofia.
“To have this trophy in my hand, it’s just amazing. Going to the Open, it’s a lot of positivity,” said Dimitrov, on his hottest run since starting the season 16-1.
Kyrgios, who ousted Monday’s new world number one Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals, has not won an ATP title since taking his third last year in Tokyo.
After battling a hip injury and lack of motivation three weeks ago in Washington, Kyrgios was thrilled at the run to his biggest final yet.
“From where I was to here, it’s just amazing,” Kyrgios said. “I just feel the way I should. I just didn’t want to be out there. I lost today but I feel great with where I’m at now.
“I’m pretty excited for the US Open, enjoying getting out there and getting some wins again.”
Rising from that disheartened low point to a Masters final was a shocker, Kyrgios said.
“That’s a very Nick Kyrgios thing to do,” he said. “Crazy. I really don’t know how I did it. It’s a miracle.”
Not since Guillermo Canas beat Andy Roddick in 2002 at Toronto had two first-time ATP Masters finalists met for a Masters crown.
“I was so nervous,” Dimitrov said. “I tried to contain myself. It was one of those matches I knew I could beat him but you never know what’s going to come out against you.”
“I could have done a few things better. But nerves were there. At the end of the day I was just going for it.”
Kyrgios, ranked 23rd, squandered a break chance in the fifth game, sending a forehand wide, and Dimitrov broke in the sixth when the Aussie netted a forehand to seize a 4-2 lead, then held twice to take the first set.
“The first set was very important for sure,” Dimitrov said. “I had to find a way to get a few balls back. It came down to a few points and I held my nerve.
“He can generate a lot of power from any position at any time. That’s what kept me on my toes the whole time.”
Kyrgios used an ace and a service winner to save two break points before holding in the seventh game of the second set.
But Kyrgios double faulted twice in three points to hand Dimitrov a break point and then swatted a forehand beyond the baseline to surrender a break and a 6-5 edge.
Dimitrov, 26, then held for the title, clinching the trophy when Kyrgios, 22, netted a forehand after 85 minutes.
Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza humbled second-ranked Simona Halep 6-1, 6-0 in Sunday’s final of the WTA Cincinnati Open, denying the Romanian the world number one spot in the process.
Sixth-seeded Spaniard Muguruza needed only 56 minutes to capture her second title of the year and her first in a US event, taking the $522,450 top prize in the last major US Open tuneup.
It marked the third loss of the year for Halep when she was playing for the top ranking, also falling in the French Open final against Jelena Ostapenko and the Wimbledon quarterfinal against Johanna Konta, each time after taking the first set.
Halep apologized to spectators after the match, thanking them for support “even if I played so bad and Muguruza played so well.”
“Sorry for this match but I will come back next year and I will try to do better,” she said.
Muguruza paid respects to Halep as she accepted the trophy, saying, “It’s a hard moment but I want to congratulate Simona. She had a great tournament.”
Muguruza later admitted: “I feel a little bit bad. I want to be in her position. But I wanted to win. What can I do?”
Czech Karolina Pliskova, a semi-final loser to Muguruza at the last major US Open tuneup, will remain world number one by a five-point margin over Halep, who would have become the 24th different number one.
Serena Williams had been number one before her pregnancy break earlier this year. Germany’s Angelique Kerber and Pliskova have held the spot since.
— WTA (@WTA) August 20, 2017
Muguruza, who will jump to third in Monday’s rankings, becomes a favorite to capture a third Grand Slam crown in Flushing Meadows after taking Wimbledon and last year’s French Open.
“Nobody believes because they won the last tournament they are going to go there and win,” she said.
Muguruza, 25, broke Halep’s first service game for a 2-0 lead and Halep double faulted away another break in the sixth game before Muguruza held to claim the first set in 23 minutes. Halep had 15 unforced errors in the set to six for the Spaniard.
Halep, 23, smacked a forehand long to surrender a break to open the second set, swatted a backhand long for another break that gave Muguruza a 3-0 edge.
In the 12-minute fourth game, Halep netted a forehand and sent a backhand wide to squander her only break chances. Muguruza broke again in the fifth game and held serve to claim the crown.