Alexander Zverev picked up his second Masters Series title of the 2017 season. He won Rome during the clay court season and on Sunday he upset Roger Federer in the final from the 2017 Rogers Cup in Montreal. The German player defeated Federer 6-3, 6-4 to claim the 1000-series title, a victory that establishes Zverev as one of the clear favorites to win the 2017 US Open.

Federer's No. 1 hopes take a hit

For Federer, the loss is a setback but it is only his third defeat of the 2017 season. The Swiss Maestro enjoyed an easy draw in Montreal this week, one that helped him make it all the way to the final. In losing to Zverev, Federer's chances of overtaking the top spot in the world have worsened.

The Swiss Maestro is in the Cincinnati draw as the No. 2 seed in the tournament. Tennis fans will have to watch the news for the next few days to see if there is any kind of withdrawal news following his efforts in Montreal. Knowing Federer's routines, if he picked up any kind of nagging injury in Montreal, even a small one, he won't jeopardize his participation in the 2017 US Open.

Should he play, which at this point is expected, then he will enter the draw about 400 points behind Rafael Nadal with August 14th's rankings. Had he won the title in Montreal he would practically be in a dead heat with Rafa at the moment. One of the two players will emerge from Cincinnati as the World No. 1 as Andy Murray has withdrawn from the event, a development that guarantees that he will lose the top spot.

With Nadal holding the ranking-point edge over Federer and with Nadal entering Cincinnati on several days' rest, the Spaniard has to be considered the favorite to get to No. 1 on August 21st.

Zverev has No. 1 potential

Zverev should certainly be on the radar for the World No. 1 ranking. With his second Masters Series title he has more than any other player younger than either Novak Djokvic or Andy Murray (Murray and Djokovic were born a week apart in 1987). Marin Cilic is younger than both of those players, but he has just one Masters Series title. Dominic Thiem, Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic, Grigor Dimitrov, and David Goffin have not won a Masters Series title yet despite those players combining for numerous entries over the years into the tour events. Zverev, significantly younger than all those players, now has two.

It's too early to talk about Zverev getting the No. 1 ranking soon. Furthermore, his participation in Cincinnati isn't guaranteed until he updates his physical condition in the aftermath of title runs in both Washington and Montreal these last two weeks.

However, the German is on a rampage right now, one that might see him into the late rounds of the US Open. At the age of 20 and with a ranking of 7th projected for Monday, there is no one similarly aged that's even close to Zverev in the rankings. He is almost four years younger than Thiem and two years younger than Nick Kyrgios.

Borna Coric, who will be ranked about 50th on Monday, is about 4 months older than Zverev. There is a gap there of over 40 spots so the German is definitely looking like the brightest light for talent right now as a post-Big Four era approaches.