Alexander Zverev Cincinnati Open 2021

Alexander Zverev could be number 1 as soon as “next year”, claims six-time Slam champion

German great Boris Becker has said he wants Alexander Zverev “to become the most successful German player of all time,” but feels he must win “one or two Grand Slams” to get there.

Zverev enjoyed a prosperous season this year where he claimed Olympic gold at the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympics, won the ATP Finals and was also the only male player to win multiple Masters titles this season in Cincinnati and Madrid.

24-year-old Zverev also feels his next goal should be a Grand Slam title as he sets his sights high ahead of next season.

Six-time Grand Slam champion Becker told Eurosport Germany’s podcast, Das Gelbe vom Ball, that he believes Zverev could become the next World number one as soon as “next year.”

“The next big goal for Sascha Zverev has to be the number one [position]. He can make it next year in my eyes. But that’s only possible if he wins one or two Grand Slam tournaments.

“You saw it this year: the clear number one was [Novak] Djokovic with three Grand Slam wins, the clear number two 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.

22-time Grand Slam champion Steffi Graf is the most successful German player ever, winning a career total of 107 titles. Graf’s historic achievements may be slightly out of reach for Zverev at the moment, but the 24 year old could succeed Becker as the most prolific German men’s player.

Zverev currently holds 19 titles so far compared to Becker’s 49, although six of Becker’s titles were Grand Slams. Zverev has reached just one Grand Slam final, the 2020 US Open against Dominic Thiem where he took a commanding two set lead but went on to lose.

On Zverev surpassing his amount of titles, Becker said “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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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.