Alexander Zverev does not want to be compared with Federer and Nadal

Aug 07, 2018, 11:10 IST | mid-day online desk

Washington Open champ Alexander Zverev says defending title is sign of maturity and strength, but does not want to be compared with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer yet

Alexander Zverev does not want to be compared with Federer and Nadal
German Alexander Zverev celebrates his win over Australian Alex De Minaur on Sunday. Pic/Getty Images

Alexander Zverev says defending his ATP Washington Open title on Sunday shows growing in strength and maturity, but the World No. 3 still sees a big gap to Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. The German, 21, won his third title of the year and the ninth of his career by defeating Australian teen Alex De Minaur 6-2, 6-4 in the 50th edition of the US Open tune-up event.

"What a fantastic week for me," Zverev said. "Winning a tournament on its 50th anniversary is something amazing. This has been a very special week for me. [Defending a title] feels great and shows mental strength as well. It shows a little maturity, I think." While Zverev stands atop a generation of rising young stars, he still puts 20-time Grand Slam-winner Federer, 36, and 17-time Grand Slam champion Nadal, 32, on the highest of pedestals.

"Roger and Rafa are still the best out there and still competing for Grand Slam titles," he said. "I haven't won a Grand Slam title. Saying I'm on their level wouldn't be fair to them." Not since Nadal beat Novak Djokovic 11 years ago at Indian Wells had the combined ages of ATP finalists been this young. And not since 1995 in Buenos Aires had all four semi-finalists been 21 or under, Zverev being the eldest. "It's not only me that's the future of the sport. I think everybody, who made it to the semi-finals, is the future," Zverev said.

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