Danish teenager defeats Novak Djokovic to announce himself on the world stage
The last three months have seen Alexander Zverev take his first steps into the world of elite sport. He first took up racket sports (tennis), followed by boxing. But on Monday in the first round of the Davis Cup in London, he won the most important and most prestigious tennis competition in the world: the Men’s Singles Championship.
The 17-year-old, originally from Denmark, had always wanted to compete in tennis, but he had not been on the right side of the draw. Zverev, the youngest player in the competition, had been pushed to believe he would face the world number one, Novak Djokovic. But in the end, Zverev was the man, beating Djokovic in straight sets.
Now it is Zverev’s first step towards becoming a world tennis champion, and into elite sports. The next step will be the world championships in Stuttgart in 2017. But he is not just another one from Denmark. He is the seventh generation male of one of the biggest and most successful family in history.
Alexander Zverev, 17, is now the youngest Danish tennis player to ever win a tennis tournament
Zverev is from a family of tennis players. His grandfather and father both had their successes at the highest level. His mother was a top-ranked tennis player in Denmark. His uncle, Thomas Zverev, played tennis professionally. And Zverev himself was a good tennis player when he was young.
‘The big tennis fans know my father,’ Alexander Zverev told News24. ‘He’s a former world number one and a very good tennis player as well.
‘My grandfather, Peter, was an interesting character, a great guy with a lot of love for tennis. My father, Peter, was always the main man in our family, he was a really good tennis player, and a very athletic guy. But as I grew up, I was very much influenced by my grandmother and my aunt. Also by my mother, who was very kind and very dedicated to tennis.
‘I was lucky because as I was growing up, I had the most opportunities in sports, first at the junior and then at junior