Two years ago, Alexander Zverev stepped onto court at the ATP Finals at London’s O2 Arena to receive his ‘Star of Tomorrow’ award, which is given to young talents with big prospects in the game. It only took Zverev 24 months to return to the O2 Arena, but this time as the the world number 3 and an outright qualifier for the top-eight-only ATP Finals. On Saturday, Denis took the same steps Zverev did in 2015, walking onto centre court following David Goffin’s semi-final win over Federer to receive two awards, the ‘ATP Star of Tomorrow’ and the ‘Most Improved Player of the Year’. Can he imagine himself rising as fast as the 20-year-old Zverev did? “What Sascha did is ridiculous. He’s a freak for what he did. Being number 3 in the world at his age, it’s incredible,” Denis said in a Roundtable interview in London on Saturday. “He’s had such a great season, he’s such a good player, I definitely look up to him, I definitely want to be in his position in the future, but everyone goes down their roads differently, sometimes it’s faster, sometimes it’s slower. For me it’s important not to rush, not to look at other players too much, just focus on my own path, focus on what I think needs to be done to improve. And I think if I do that I hope that I can have the same success that he’s had.” I really think Sascha has been an inspiration to a lot of young players to already be so successful at his age and he has always been one of my favourite players and I think so many more people look up to him especially after this amazing season he’s had this year I just wanted to give him a little tribute! Anyway, I think the approach Denis has taken to the recent fame is definitely the right one. He is able to focus on his own game without comparing himself to others but letting their achievements inspire him, and all the while staying level headed. Congrats Denis on these two awards which I’m sure are the first of many!
(: Getty )
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