Tennis: Brilliant Alexander Zverev wins Washington Open, Ekaterina Makarova in come-from-behind-victory

Alexander Zverev hits a backhand against Kevin Anderson in the men's singles final of the Citi Open.
Alexander Zverev hits a backhand against Kevin Anderson in the men's singles final of the Citi Open.PHOTO: REUTERS/USA TODAY SPORTS

(REUTERS) - German Alexander Zverev used his dominant serve to claim a fourth ATP title of the year with a commanding 6-4, 6-4 win over South African veteran Kevin Anderson at the Washington Open on Sunday.

The 20-year-old fifth seed made only seven unforced errors and did not face a break point on the outdoor hard court at Rock Creek Park, never giving Anderson a chance to get into the match.

One break in each set was enough for Zverev to enhance his burgeoning reputation as one of the game's rising talents.

He closed out the match in just under 70 minutes before accepting the enthusiastic applause from a near-capacity crowd that included his parents and his dog.

Zverev joined Rafa Nadal as a four-time ATP winner this year.

Only Roger Federer, with five, has captured more titles in 2017.

Zverev won his fifth career title and improved his career record against Anderson to 3-0.

"It was a great match," said Zverev, who started the week ranked eighth in the world.

"I felt unbelievable starting from the quarter-finals and from then, it got better and better every match I played."

The only time Zverev was pushed all week came in the second round, when he edged Australian Jordan Thompson in a third-set tiebreak.

But he improved as the tournament progressed and after a severe case of jet lag subsided, Zverev did not lose another set in his final four matches.

Zverev said the next goal in his career was to go deeper into the Grand Slams.

"I've lost in five sets against Rafa, five sets against (Milos) Raonic," he said.

"At some stage, I want to win those kind of matches and get further in Grand Slams.

"The best I've done is fourth round. I know I still have to improve a lot to be able to go far in the big tournaments.

Russian Ekaterina Makarova turned on the marathon magic again to defeat Julia Goerges 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-0 and win the women's singles Washington Open on Sunday.

Seventh seed Makarova came from a set behind for the third successive time to claim her first WTA title in more than three years, and after being previously halted at the semi-final stage three times.

"Every time when I was coming back, I was really enjoying (it) and dreaming to win this tournament and here it is," Makarova told reporters.

"I don't have a coach this week with me but I have some great supporters. The crowd was just amazing and I heard a lot of Russians today (and) all tournament."

A two-time Grand Slam semi-finalist, Makarova fended off seven aces from her fourth-seeded opponent and overcame seven double-faults.

Battling to stay in the match, Makarova dominated the second-set tiebreak and then steamrolled Goerges to claim the title.

Makarova's road to the final included seeing off top seed Simona Halep who retired due to heat exhaustion in the third set of their quarter-final clash.