Alexander Zverev summed up very nicely what is important for a top player like him who formulates big goals. “You do not just have to talk the talk – you also have to go for the walk,” the Olympic champion told lifestyle magazine “Haute Living”.
So do not just talk, act.
And yes, there is an urgent need for action from the man who offensively and publicly proclaimed his leap to first place in the rankings and wins Grand Slam events.
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Of course, they all orient themselves towards the professionals who are in front of them. Means: They analyze Zverev’s game with their team, which carries the risk that the youngsters will act strategically more and more smartly. Already, they are pretty good at countering the Beijing gold medalist at the highest level.
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The last six Grand Slam competitions show this: Zverev failed at Sinner (French Open 2020), Tsitsipas (French Open 2021), Auger-Aliassime (Wimbledon 2021) and Shapovalov (Australian Open 2022).
He admitted the other two defeats at the US Open and Australian Open last season against former champion Novak Djokovic. The flashback reveals that it is no longer just the 3 big ones that stand between Zverev and his dreams.
Zverev’s plan: “Enjoy the pressure too”
He has all the abilities to keep the younger competition in check, and when Zverev is in top form, Zverev is no longer an outsider against any player in the world.
It is not for nothing that the direct comparisons against the six challengers mentioned paint a friendly picture. Only against Tsitsipas 1.98 m Schlaks has a negative record. In addition, the Greek and the Norwegian Ruud are only about a year younger. The time is far from playing against Zverev, who is just 24 years old.
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And the increasing pressure from season to season? As a top player, you have to “learn to handle it and enjoy this part, because the people at the top do not have pressure for no reason after all,” Zverev rejects. Germany’s number one wants and still needs to learn mentally.
Flip out and focus – what Zverev needs to work on
He was “embarrassed when I walk through the locker room,” Zverev admitted.
It will be interesting to see how he handles frustration in the future, for the increasingly criticized racket food on the pitch is also part of his repertoire.
Zverev knows he has to be world-class both play-wise and mentally to live up to his own ambitions. That is the task, because otherwise he may soon no longer see Sinner, Alcaraz and Co. in hindsight – because they overtook him …
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