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“Zverev happy about “underdog role” at the BMW Open”


In a black outfit and together with his girlfriend Sophia Thomalla, Alexander Zverev walked the red carpet, his mood at the players’ evening of the ATP tournament in Munich was great. “I usually come here and I’m the huge favorite to win the tournament,” he said. That’s why there’s always been “a certain amount of pressure” over the past few years – “and I haven’t played well here in the past few years.” Now Zverev added, “It’s a completely different situation for me.”

A completely different situation because: Zverev is still on the way back to the form of his life that he achieved last June: he was about to defeat Rafael Nadal in the semifinals of the French Open, then his first Win Grand Slam titles and become number one in the world. Then: the ankle injury. Since then, the “impatience” has “always been there,” says Zverev, but you have to be smart enough to know that things don’t always happen that quickly.”

Still, there is reason for optimism. Last week at the Masters in Monte Carlo, when he returned to clay, things looked pretty good at times. His defeat in the round of 16 against Daniil Medvedev, with whom he later engaged in verbal skirmishes, shouldn’t have happened, he knows that. “If I’m in top form, I’ll win the game,” Zverev claims, but he still leaves something behind in long matches, I’m still missing one or two percent.”

Tennis star Zverev has his sights set on Grand Slam titles

Zverev has now slipped to 16th place in the world rankings, young players like Jannik Sinner, Casper Ruud and Carlos Alcaraz have overtaken him, the latter has also had the coveted Grand Slam title ahead of the German since the US Open in September. Zverev, still only 25 years old, has been following all this, but he doesn’t panic at the last minute: “I’m still young enough to say my goals haven’t changed.”

The goals remain: Grand Slam title, number one in the world. Munich is just a stopover there, but one where you can perhaps collect the one or two percent that are supposedly still missing. Otherwise, nothing stands in the way of returning to old strength, whereby: “There are now,” reports Zverev, “other problems that I have never had before.” In Miami, for example, at the Masters at the end of March, “I had hip problems”.

In Munich he is more worried about the weather. “It’s cold,” he said before his opening match on Wednesday, because “if it’s cold, it’s not good for my game. If it’s warm, I’ve already won the tournament twice.” That was in 2017 and 2018.

After all: He is not a favorite compared to back then, and Zverev finds that very positive: “I can play more freely. I don’t have to have the ulterior motive of necessarily winning the tournament and can have fun on the pitch.” Of course, it would be good if the one or two percent were still visible.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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