Alexander Zverev: career, achievements, origins

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Alexander Zverev © IMAGO / Frank Hoermann / SVEN SIMON

The German tennis pro is a person with many hard edges, both on the tennis court and in his private life. Worth knowing about Alexander Zverev.

Munich – Alexander Zverev, born in Hamburg on April 20, 1997, will compete in this year’s French Open as a player in the extended circle of favorites. Why just “extended circle of favorites”? The season so far has been pretty mixed for Zverev (nickname: “Sascha”): Highlights in 2022 have so far been (as of April 27, 2022; note) a semifinal at the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Monte Carlo, the quarterfinals at ATP The Masters 1000 tournament in Miami and the final of the ATP 250 tournament in Montpellier. For the media, the third in the world rankings (as of April 27, 2022; note) is a “feed” for various reasons: Germany’s best provide for his sporting performance as well as his privacy and his emotional “slip” on the court Tennis players always make headlines.

Alexander Zverev – the beginning of his career

Alexander Zverev was practically born with the talent for success: His father Alexander Mikhailovich Zverev, who was born in Sochi, Russia, was a tennis player in the Soviet Union, played for his country in the 1979 Davis Cup and still works as a coach today. Mama Irina Swereva is also a former tennis coach. In 1991, the family moved to Hamburg. Zverev developed a love of tennis from an early age – when he admired his big brother Mischa, who is also a tennis professional, on the court. Alexander Zverev was coached for a long time by his father Alexander Mikhailovich, who initially concentrated more on the career of Alex’s brother Mischa, who was almost ten years older than him. The longer and more intensely Alexander Zverev dealt with the subject of “tennis career”, the more it became clear that Mischa is not the family’s tennis talent, but his little brother Alex. From now on, the Zverev family put all their energy into supporting Alexander Zverev, who himself left school in 1997 after tenth grade to concentrate fully on tennis. A decision that quickly proved to be the right one, for Alexander Zverev has been Germany’s biggest tennis hope since Boris Becker for years.

Alexander Zverev – first successes

Alexander Zverev achieved his first major success in 2013 when he reached the final of the junior singles at the French Open. He played his first match on the ATP World Tour in July 2013 at the age of 16. As number one on the junior world rankings, Zverev closed then – as the first German ever – the year 2013. Zverev won his first major title in 2014 in the junior singles competition at Australian Open. Also in 2014, Alexander Zverev won his first professional title at the Challenger tournament in Braunschweig. In June 2015, Zverev participated in the main round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time. In September 2016, Zverev won his first ATP tournament in St. Petersburg against Stan Wawrinka, and in February 2017, he secured his second singles title in Montpellier and his first doubles title with his brother Mischa.

Alexander Zverev – career highlights

The next title in Munich followed in May 2017, as well as his first Masters 1000 victory in Rome, which was to have far-reaching consequences: With his final victory over Novak Djokovic, Zverev was among the top ten players in the world for the first time in May. At the US Open 2020, which had to take place without the audience in September due to the ongoing corona pandemic, Zverev even fought his way to the final. At New York’s Arthur Ashe Stadium, Zverev then lost – despite a two-set lead – to his Austrian friend Dominic Thiem in a dramatic duel over five sets. In 2021, Alexander Zverev participated in the Olympic Games in Tokyo for the first time. He reached the final, winning over Novak Djokovic and thus the first Olympic victory as a male tennis player for the Germans. At the end of 2021, Alexander Zverev won the ATP final for the most successful tennis professional of the year for the second time. After a hard-fought semi-final victory over Novak Djokovic, Zverev gave defending champion Daniil Medvedev no chance in the final.

Alexander Zverev – his biggest successes on the ATP Tour

  • 2021: 6 tournament wins, tournaments: Torino, Nitto ATP Finals (indoor / hardcourt), Vienna (indoor / hardcourt), Cincinnati ATP Masters 1000 (outdoor / hardcourt), Tokyo, Olympic Games (outdoor / hardcourt), Madrid, ATP Masters 1000 (outdoor / clay), Acapulco (outdoor / hard)
  • 2020: 2 tournament wins, tournaments: Cologne 2 (indoor / hard court), Cologne 1 (indoor / hard court)
  • 2019: 1 tournament victory, tournaments: Geneva (outdoor / sand)
  • 2018: 4 tournament wins, tournaments: London, Nitto ATP Finals (indoor / hardcourt), Washington (outdoor / hardcourt), Madrid, ATP Masters 1000 (outdoor / sand), Munich (outdoor / sand)
  • 2017: 5 tournament wins, tournaments: Montreal, ATP Masters 1000 (outdoor / hardcourt), Washington (outdoor / hardcourt), Rome, ATP Masters 1000 (outdoor / sand), Munich (outdoor / sand), Montpellier (indoor / hardcourt)
  • 2016: 1 tournament win, tournaments: St. Petersburg (indoor / hardcourt)

Alexander Zverev – his biggest success on the ATP Challenger Tour

  • 2014: 1 tournament victory, tournament: Braunschweig
  • 2015: 1 tournament victory, tournament: Heilbronn

Alexander Zverev – his Grand Slam stats

competition 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
Australian Open OF vf HF OF 3R 3R 1r 1Q
French Open HF OF vf vf 1r 3R 2Q
Wimbledon OF reach 1r 3R OF 3R 2R
US Open HF f OF 3R 2R 2R 1r 2Q

AF: Round 16
VF: Quarterfinals
HF: semifinals
Q: Finale
R: round
Q: Qualifying round

Alexander Zverev – his private life

His privacy is as exciting as his career or his struggles: in 2019 he was in a relationship with ex- “Germany Next Topmodel” candidate Brenda Patea, who became pregnant during the relationship: on March 11, 2021, daughter Mayla saw the light of the world . Despite this, the couple went their separate ways after a few months. Shortly after the separation, Sophia Thomalla came into his life: In October 2021, the two publicly announced their relationship. The model now accompanies Alexander Zverev regularly to his tournaments, and the two allow the public to take a look at their privacy on their social media channels.

Alexander Zverev – his “highest” headline

Girlfriend Sophia Thomalla once said in an interview that the relationship would work so well because she would be a pretty quiet person and Alexander Zverev would be a very emotional person. He has already proven several times how emotionally charged Germany’s currently best tennis player can be. His latest mistake: At the ATP 500 tournament in Acapulco (2022), after a virtually insignificant defeat in doubles, Alexander Zverev repeatedly hit his tennis racket against the referee’s chair on which the referee was sitting. Zverev almost hit the referee’s foot, which he had shortly before loudly insulted several times after a controversial decision. The men’s organization ATP reacted immediately and excluded Zverev from the further course of the tournament due to “unsportsmanlike conduct”. Days later, Alexander Zverev admitted to having made “the biggest mistake of my tennis career” in Acapulco. “It is difficult to put into words how much I regret my behavior. I have privately apologized to the chair judge because my outburst to him was wrong and unacceptable and I am only disappointed in myself, “he said on Instagram.

Alexander Zverev – not everyone knows about the German superstar

  • In November 2015, Zverev received the ATP’s Stars of Tomorrow Award. In 2021, he was named Germany’s Sportsman of the Year.
  • Alexander Zverev speaks fluent German, Russian and English.
  • In 2021, he participated in the Pro7 show “Schlag den Star”, but was unable to assert himself against his competitor, the professional handball player Silvio Heinevetter.
  • His best friends on the tennis tour include his brother Mischa, Austrian Dominic Thiem, American John Isner, Brazilian Marcelo Melo, Russian Karen Khachanov, Swiss Belinda Bencic, but above all his dog Lövik, Alexander Zverev on many accompanied at tournaments.

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