Boris Becker says he wants Alexander Zverev to become the greatest German tennis player of all time - and believes he can become world number one next year.
To do that, the three-time Wimbledon champion says the ATP Finals winner will need to claim his first Grand Slam title in 2022, having this year won Olympic gold.
Zverev beat Daniil Medvedev - a player he had lost to in the group stage - to win the season-ending event for the second time, and Becker was impressed with his performance throughout, saying he did not “play a bad match”.
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But he is yet to lift one of the four major trophies and Becker believes that will be rectified next season - giving him the chance to rise to the top of the world rankings, above Novak Djokovic.
"He won't take it (become world number one) without a Grand Slam win,” Djokovic told Eurosport Germany podcast Das Gelbe vom Ball.
The next big goal for Sascha Zverev has to be the number one. 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 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."
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Steffi Graf is easily the most successful tennis player in German history, with 107 titles including 22 at Grand Slams, but the possibility of succeeding Becker as the most prolific men’s player is still within Zverev’s sights. The 24-year-old has 19 titles so far, compared to Becker’s 49 - six of which were majors.
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"On Monday I saw the prize money list, he has now overtaken me,” Becker 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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Can Djokovic, Zverev and Medvedev's friendly rivalry survive?