You want to bottle up this Alexander Zverev, put him behind glass for a bit and preserve the moment. The 20-year old’s tennis career is speeding toward a hinge, and you wish he could hang on that edge for a little longer and let us enjoy the untainted anticipation. Will he become another prodigy whose bursting possibilities gradually deflate into normalcy? Or will he blossom into what so many people have imagined for so many years: “A clear possible future No. 1,” as Rafael Nadal once called him.
This week, the best field in years descended on Washington’s Citi Open, and Zverev went through it like a toddler knocking down plastic bowling pins, wreaking destruction everywhere he stepped. Friday night, he needed 57 minutes to swat away Daniil Medvedev. Saturday night, it took him 63 minutes to bulldoze Kei Nishikori, a top-10 player in the world who was helpless against the towering German.
“Remarkable … outlandish,” Jim Courier gushed on the Tennis Channel as Zverev won 31 of 33 points on his first serve against one of the game’s best returners. “An overpowering performance,” Courier went on. “His bandwagon is, I’m sure, quickly filling up. My goodness that was impressive.”
Sunday’s final against Kevin Anderson was as predictable as a sunrise — and lasted about as long. For the second day in a row, Zverev never faced a break point. For the second day in…