Alexander Zverev hopes for his “real tennis”

French Open 2022
Zverev is hoping for his “real tennis” in the shadow of the favorites

The French Open is this year’s second Grand Slam tournament. The title will be played in Paris until June 22. Novak Djokovic and Barbora Krejcikova are the defending champions. In our telegram you will not miss anything.

Alexander Zverev knows exactly what he is talking about when he says, “It takes a lot more to win a Grand Slam tournament than just playing tennis well.” Year after year, he started in Melbourne, Paris, London and New York – so far always in vain. So why should an upstart like Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz come to Roland Garros?

Zverev is bothered by the fact that the sensational teenager is suddenly proclaimed the top favorite for the highlight of the gravel track season. This was also reported by his brother Mischa. The old masters Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are at the top of the bookmakers’ banknotes – the extremely ambitious Zverev still does. Men Alcaraz? “No!” Not it either.

“It was like, ‘I do not want to find out.’ Now my time has come, now I want to win and I want to be the favorite and prove it to everyone, Mischa tells Eurosport. Sascha Zverev is unlikely to become a Grand Slam winner alone despite. He needs to improve in Paris because his season so far has been disappointing.

Although the form curve points upwards, Zverev can live with the semi-finals in Monte Carlo and Rome and the final in Madrid, but a title has not yet sprung up in 2022 – and it is “a little disappointing”, as he said two days recorded before the start of French Open. Zverev hopes to finally show off his “real tennis” in Paris, where he will meet Austrian qualifier Sebastian Ofner in the first round on Sunday.

Zverev will most recently show his “real” tennis in a possible quarter-final against the young star Alcaraz, against whom he was exhausted in the Madrid final. The title would still be a long way off: Nadal and Djokovic are also on his half of the table – and thus possible obstacles in the semi-finals – for Zverev, they are still the hottest candidates for victory.

“It’s fun,” Zverev said after seeing the newly injured Nadal during training. In his clay court kingdom Roland Garros, where Nadal has won a staggering 13 times, his forehand suddenly went 20 miles faster and he moves easier. There is something about this place that makes it 30 percent better. ”

Djokovic, on the other hand, is finding his form again, Zverev said of the Serbs. “He gets better at clay every day and he played great in Rome.” And then the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is not one of Zverev’s favorite opponents on clay, also lurks in the other half of the tableau. In short: the Olympic champion is just an outsider in the battle for the Coupe de Mousquetaires.

But that is exactly where he sees an opportunity. His own expectations sometimes prevented him from performing his best in majors. The triumph of a Grand Slam tournament is “the ultimate goal”, the pressure is similarly high, Zverev said, passing it on to the next generation. It is “interesting to see” how Carlos Alcaraz “will handle it”.

“Monster” Alcaraz escapes the tennis competition for Zverev

As a 19-year-old, Carlos Alcaraz is considered the next big thing in tennis. For Alexander Zverev, that may mean he has another extraordinary player ahead of him in the future. The French Open should show if the Spaniard has already rushed him.

German tennis trio misses the main field

On the last day of qualifying, no other German tennis professional was able to qualify for the main draw of the French Open. Nastasja Schunk for the women and Daniel Masur and Cedrik-Marcel Stebe for the men each suffered defeats in the last qualifying round on Friday. Thus, it was only Jule Niemeier who entered the main draw at the season’s second Grand Slam tournament via qualification. From a German point of view, there are now four men and four women in Paris. The French Open starts on Sunday.

Zverev in the start against qualifiers – Kerber against Polin Frech

Olympic champion Alexander Zverev is dealing with a qualifying match at the start of the French Open. That was the result of the draw for the second Grand Slam tournament of the tennis season on Thursday night in Paris. Overall, Zverev was drawn into the much harder half of the tournament. In the quarter-finals there could be a duel with the Spanish prodigy Carlos Alcaraz, in the semi-finals the world number one Novak Djokovic or record Grand Slam tournament winner Rafael Nadal could wait.

In the women’s category, Angelique Kerber must first meet Magdalena Frech from Poland. With the triple winner of the Grand Slam tournament, the form curve points up again in time for the French Open. On Thursday, Kerber reached the semifinals at the dress rehearsal in Strasbourg.

In total, the German Tennis Federation has so far been represented with four women and four men at the Stade Roland Garros. On Friday, a German trio also has the chance to qualify for the main draw.

Brother Mischa thinks: Alcaraz has aroused Zverev’s ambition

Alexander Zverev does not want to be overtaken by the younger competition in Roland Garros. The fact that the 19-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz has been listed as the favorite for the title in Paris by game providers has aroused the ambition of the Olympic champion, his brother Mischa told the Eurosport podcast “Das Gelbe vom Ball”. Zverev (25) has yet to win a tournament this year.

When Rafael Nadal (Spain) or Novak Djokovic (Serbia) were the top favorites, it was “okay” for Sascha, “now Alcaraz … no,” he said at dinner. “It was like, ‘I do not want to find out.’ Now my time has come, now I want to win and I want to be the favorite and prove it to everyone, “said Mischa Zverev.

The part-time professional and manager of his younger brother goes on the air in Paris as an insider for Eurosport. He is convinced that Alexander can confirm his rise in form during the clay court season. “He’s playing better again now and his attitude is really, really good,” said Mischa Zverev (34). His brother had developed a “healthy ambition”.

After winning tournaments in Barcelona and at the Masters in Madrid, teenager Alcaraz is the hottest candidate for this year’s second Grand Slam title. In the Spanish capital, he outclassed the exhausted Zverev in two sets in the final. Alcaraz feels ready for the first major title of his career, which Zverev is still waiting for.

Niemeier manages to jump into the main field – Siegemund failed

Jule Niemeier has reached the main draw in a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in his career. The 22-year-old from Dortmund won his decisive qualifying match for the French Open in Paris 6-0, 6-1 against the Japanese Moyuka Uchijima and is thus in the first round of the clay court highlight, which begins on Sunday.

World number 103. Niemeier, who lost in the last qualifying round at Wimbledon in 2021 and 2022, gave up only a total of seven matches in three elimination duels.

Laura Siegemund (Metzingen) failed, however. The 34-year-old former number 27 in the world lost to Spanish Cristina Bucsa 6-4, 3-6, 1-6. Siegemund had reached the quarterfinals in Paris in 2020 and thus her best Grand Slam result. Since then, however, she has not won a match at a major tournament.

Nastasja Schunk (Ludwigshafen), Cedric-Marcel Stebe (Vaihingen) and Daniel Masur (Bückeburg) are also in action in the decisive qualifying round.

(RP / dpa / SID)

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