Surprise breakup announced
Zverev doesn’t care about the “stupid” experts
05/28/2023 11:22 am
Alexander Zverev continues to look for his top form before the start of the French Open. With anger in his stomach, he finally wants to land the long-awaited liberation at the French Open. In the meantime, he doesn’t want to let the “stupid” criticism of some old masters sit on him.
In a bright salmon-colored jersey and with a little anger in his stomach, Alexander Zverev entered the training ground a few hours after his arrival at Roland Garros. He thundered his baseline shots powerfully over the net and grooved in for the start of the French Open in Paris. Zverev wants to land the long-awaited liberation there from Tuesday – and at the same time silence his prominent critics.
“The experts sometimes make pretty stupid comments,” said Zverev. He doesn’t want to be told that he’ll “never play at the top again. I’ll prove that’s not true. I know how to achieve my goals.” However, three previous Wimbledon winners expressed their doubts about Zverev before the tournament started. Boris Becker advised to “chop wood”. Michael Stich lacks the “joy of the game” with the Olympic champion from Hamburg. And John McEnroe sees Zverev even “at the bottom”.
Zverev has “lost everything”
As a result of the serious ankle injury in 2022 in the semifinals, McEnroe told the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper” that Zverev “lost everything: self-confidence, world ranking points, his ranking position. That makes his situation even worse.” Just a year ago “he seemed poised to beat Nadal at Roland Garros,” said McEnroe. Today the picture is different. Zverev is subject to extreme fluctuations in performance, and he also seemed at a loss during his failed dress rehearsal in Geneva. After 6: 7 (3: 7), 3: 6 against the world number 54. Nicolas Jarry on Friday, he traveled to France without the sense of achievement he had hoped for.
A lot has changed since that fateful day in June a year ago. “The tennis world has evolved. A year in tennis is damn long. He’s not among the top eight favorites,” said Becker. Tennis is a head game, according to the three-time Wimbledon winner: “He’s just missing it.” And Michael Stich judged in the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”: “He hasn’t really developed his game further.” A statement that Zverev doesn’t want to let sit: “I wore a boot for seven months. It’s difficult to develop further if you can’t walk,” he countered and looked ahead.
Surprisingly, Bruguera is no longer there
In round one, the former world number two meets South African Lloyd Harris on Tuesday – a feasible task. One that Zverev will tackle without Spanish coach Sergi Bruguera. The 52-year-old ex-professional, who had accompanied Zverev since spring last year, was no longer there, Zverev announced on Saturday. “We decided after Madrid that we would stop. We didn’t have the same opinion about how I should play tennis after the injury.”
Another expert whose assessment Zverev can obviously do without, Bruguera has expertise on sand: he triumphed twice in Roland Garros. But as so often in difficult phases, Zverev prefers to rely on the family. In Paris, father Alexander senior will be at his side again.