Alexander Zverev’s ‘biggest fan’ backs German to become world No 1 in 2022

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Alexander Zverev celebrates after winning the ATP Finals

He describes himself as Alexander Zverev’s “biggest fan” so unsurprisingly Boris Becker believes the German has what it takes to become world No 1 in 2022 although he admits it is “only possible if he wins one or two Grand Slams”.

Zverev capped off a successful 2021 campaign by beating world No 2 and US Open champion Daniil Medvedev in the final of the ATP Finals to win the trophy for a second time. The 24-year-old also won gold in the singles at the Tokyo Olympics, two ATP Masters 1000 events and two ATP 500 tournaments.

He finished the season at No 3 in the world, but Becker believes his compatriot can get to top spot as early as next year, but then he will need to take the “next big” step.

“He won’t make it [become world No 1] without a Grand Slam win,” he told Eurosport Germany podcast Das Gelbe vom Ball.

“The next big goal for Sascha Zverev has to be the No 1 [ranking]. He can make it next year in my eyes. But that’s only possible if he wins one or two Grand Slams.

“You saw it this year: the clear No 1 was [Novak] Djokovic with three Grand Slam wins, the clear No 2 was Medvedev with one Grand Slam win and the clear number three was Sascha.

“Certainly, an ATP Finals title is an absolute highlight in one’s career – he has won that twice – and victory at the Olympics was certainly unique, but the next big triumph has to be a victory at a Grand Slam tournament. Then you get closer to your dream.”

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On the back of his ATP Finals victory, Zverev took his career prize-money earnings to $29,728,875, which puts him well clear of former world No 1 Becker’s $25,080,956.

Becker hopes Zverev’s success leads to “tennis boom in Germany again”.

“On Monday I saw the prize money list, he has now overtaken me,” the six-time major winner said.

“What people forgot to mention – today you get much more prize money for the same victory than 20 or 30 years ago. You have to put it all in perspective.

“I would like him to become the most successful German tennis player of all time. Then we would all have a lot to celebrate and we would have a tennis boom in Germany again.

“We would all be winners. I am his biggest fan and I hope he can do it.”

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