Alexander Zverev showed his class on and off the court after defeating Novak Djokovic by lauding the world number one's remarkable year.
The German overcame the 14-time grand slam champion 6-4 6-3 to win the ATP Finals on Sunday, having overcome Roger Federer in the last four.
It underlines the 21-year-old's rapid rise to prominence and he gleefully celebrated the most significant triumph of his career, but also found the time to praise his beaten opponent.
"I really can't describe it. It is the biggest title I have ever won," he told BBC Two.
"Firstly, I want to congratulate Novak and we may never have seen the tennis he has played in the last few months before. He barely lost a match but thankfully he did to me.
"We [Djokovic and Zverev] had so many talks, not only about tennis but all different types of subjects – I won't mention what – but you are a sharing person and you have shared some titles with me. I appreciate you letting me win one.
"Also, huge congratulations to the whole Djokovic team. Finishing as world number one after having surgery this year, I don't know if that has been done before. You are one of the best teams on tour so good luck for next year."
Zverev, who denied Djokovic a record-equalling sixth Finals title, also thanked the crowd for their support, despite having been booed after stopping mid-point in a second-set tie-break when a ballboy dropped a ball during his semi-final win over Federer on Saturday.
"The crowd have been absolutely amazing all week," he insisted. "I appreciate you all coming out to support and show love for the sport.
"It makes it so much easier for us to play so thank you for that."
11. Dezember 2018
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