Alexander Zverev claimed the 2021 Western & Southern Open men’s singles title by defeating Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-3 Sunday.
The 59-minute match marked the shortest Western & Southern Open final since Stefan Edberg defeated Brad Gilbert in 51 minutes in the 1990 final. Defeating three top eight seeds on his way to the crown, Zverev is the first player to defeat three opponents who were a No. 8 seed or higher in the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals since Roger Federer in 2012.
Zverev became the first German player since Boris Becker in 1985 to win the title in Cincinnati. He was also the 15th No. 3 seed to win the championship in Cincinnati and the first to do so since Federer in 2010.
The 24-year-old reigning Olympic gold medalist is the first player to win the Western & Southern Open and an Olympic gold medal and the Western & Southern Open in the same year since Andre Agassi in 1996. With his second ATP Masters 1000 title, Zverev joins Agassi Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal as the only players to win a pair of ATP Masters 1000 titles and an Olympic gold medal in the same year.
“I felt well from the beginning,” Zverev said. “ I broke him the first game and I think then the match went my way. Obviously, I’m very happy with that, because Andrey, once he
gets the rhythm, once he gets going in a match and he's a very dangerous player and can beat anybody. He showed that yesterday. Obviously very happy with how things went.”
Rublev is the second Russian player to finish as a finalist and knock off a No. 1 seed to reach the finals in the last three years in Cincinnati. In his second ATP Masters 1000 finalist finish, Rublev also became the first Russian Western & Southern Open runner-up.
“I can only be grateful for the week that I had,” Rublev said. “One more final, my second in my career. I can only be grateful, especially here in a special place for me with great memories.
Of course the final didn't go my way, but this is the sport. There is only one winner.
(Alexander) was playing unbelievable today.”