Tennis: Zverev eyes US Open after Olympic triumph

Alexander Zverev shows off his gold medal during a "Golden Book" signing at the town hall in Hamburg, Germany on Aug 3, 2021.
Alexander Zverev shows off his gold medal during a "Golden Book" signing at the town hall in Hamburg, Germany on Aug 3, 2021.PHOTO: REUTERS

BERLIN (AFP) - Newly-crowned Olympic men's tennis champion Alexander Zverev arrived home in Germany to a hero's welcome on Tuesday (Aug 3) before turning his attention to attempting to win a first Grand Slam title at the US Open later this month.

The 24-year-old touched down in Germany, two days after brushing aside Karen Khachanov in a 6-3, 6-1 victory to take the men's singles Olympic title in Tokyo on Sunday.

Zverev joked that he had left his bag of rackets on the baggage carousel - "I won't need it for a few days now anyway" - after being met by a crowd of hundreds of fans, including his pet dogs, in Hamburg.

"Now I want to enjoy all this for a few days," he added, "then I will think about the US Open" which starts on Aug 30.

Zverev, ranked fifth in the world, reached his first - and only - Grand Slam final in New York last year.

Despite the long journey home, Zverev was still buzzing from his victory in Tokyo, where the feeling of winning gold "was the best I will ever have in my career, I can't even describe it".

He has now "won everything except a Grand Slam. Of course, that remains the big goal," Zverev added with one eye on the US Open.

Zverev, who was born in Hamburg, has a busy few days of appointments, including a whistle-stop trip to sign the Hanseatic City's "Golden Book".

The ornate volume, donated to the city in 1897, has over the years featured famous figures and high-ranking guests from politics, business, culture and sport.

"I'm deeply honoured to get this opportunity," Zverev said after writing in the book. "A dream has come true - the gold medal is in Hamburg."