Kerber is a former world No. 1 and a three-time Grand Slam winner; Zverev, still just 21 years old, has already won 10 trophies on the ATP Tour, the most prestigious of which was only recently added to his collection at the ATP Finals.
But you don’t get to where the Germans are without setting new goals, and the Germans have set a lofty one when they face Switzerland in the Mastercard Hopman Cup final.
This is a rematch of the 2018 live mixed doubles final, which was won by Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic. The German’s will to win this week was undoubtedly bolstered by that outcome.
After last year’s defeat, Zverev and his teammates resolved to make amends by winning this year.
The series of successes that followed that playoff berth indicate that the goal is feasible.
Kerber won her second Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, propelling the 30-year-old back to the top of the women’s tennis rankings.
Zverev capped up his 2018 campaign with a victory in London against Federer and Novak Djokovic. Zverev was the youngest champion in the tournament’s history, and he was the first guy to beat both of those players.
As one of the sport’s premier competitions, I can’t even begin to describe how incredible it felt to take out the world’s best players and win the Masters. Zverev said, “You’re just playing the top eight guys.”
To be clear, I didn’t make any major adjustments to my offseason routine since I was so pleased with how things wrapped up. After all that, I was still putting in time and effort to better myself in many ways.
Zverev has proven his progress this week at RAC Arena, beating David Ferrer, Lucas Pouille, and Matt Ebden in the round robin singles rubbers.
Kerber has an even more outstanding record, as the world No. 2 is now riding a seven-match winning run after sweeping each singles rubber in 2018 and securing comfortable victories over Garbine Muguruza, Alize Cornet, and Ash Barty this week.
Indications are growing that Kerber may reclaim the world No. 1 position she had in the 2016 season, despite her insistence that she is concentrating on nothing except winning her next match.
You know, I’m not particularly concerned about where I am in the rankings. Just keep playing well and getting good results, and I believe the ranking will follow,” she added.
“Sure, it would be great to go back to being the best player again, but that day is still far off.”
Zverev, like many other players, is hesitant to provide specifics, saying that he would know he had a successful year on the tour if he had fun.
I want to go out there and soak up every second of being the center of attention and performing on such a grand platform. He urged me to “enjoy competing against the greatest players.” My primary goal for the year is to accomplish this.
All of that is in store for the 21-year-old when he enters the court against Federer, and he does so with the confidence of having won three of six professional meetings against the great.
Despite the fact that this piques more people’s curiosity in today’s encounter, Zverev is eager to provide a wider perspective.
There’s more going on here than just me and Roger. He stressed the importance of the team. “Last year we were so close, (only) losing the decisive match,” the player said.
Kerber is also embracing a team approach, with the goal of helping Germany win their third championship overall and first in 24 years.
“It would mean a lot,” she said. We’re excited to represent Germany in the Hopman Cup, and we’re going to do all in our power to bring home the trophy.
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