Superstitions? Zverev Has None
In a sport famous for its superstitions, from Bjorn Borg’s no-shave policy at Wimbledon to Kei Nishikori’s refusal to call home during the 2014 US Open, one player, with hopes of achieving further success in the next decade of the sport, admits something rather surprising; he does not have any. That man is World No. 3 Alexander Zverev.
The 21-year-old, who reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final at Roland Garros this year, spoke about his thought process as he prepares for his fourth appearance at SW19.
“I’m not superstitious at all,” admitted Zverev. “I don’t have anything I have to do before I play. For me, if I have a great preparation, if I have great practices, I know I’ll do well. This is more important for me than any superstition anybody could have.”
A year ago, Zverev lost a tight five-set battle against 2016 runner-up Milos Raonic on the legendary grass. Now, one year on, the three-time ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titlist will be confident of going further in the draw, armed with superstitions or not. The tournament’s No. 4 seed, who will meet Australia’s James Duckworth in the first round, is 0-1 on grass this season after losing to eventual champion Borna Coric at the Gerry Weber Open last week.
“I look forward to it. I think it’s Wimbledon. I think everybody looks forward to it,” said Zverev. “[I got] a little bit injured in Paris. Everybody knows that. I didn’t practise a lot before the tournament in Halle, so… I played it without having any practice. But now I feel really good. The practices I had here and the practices that I had after my loss in Halle were great. I feel ready to go.”
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With two finals to his name on grass (Halle 2016-2017), Zverev knows his way around the surface. But the 21-year-old doesn’t put too much emphasis on the court, instead choosing to focus on his game.
“I mean, it’s a different surface. I always said that for me the surface is not a big role. For me, it’s how I play, more about how my game is at the moment,” said Zverev. “I can adjust pretty well to surfaces. Obviously you have got to do a few things differently than on clay.
“You have got to maybe slice a little bit more, you have got to come in a little bit more, you have got to try to play lower. But that adjustment is made within a few days. After that, it’s more about finding your shots, finding your game.”
Did You Know?
Alexander Zverev owns a 20-10 FedEx ATP Win/Loss Record on grass. The German has also improved his performance by one round with each appearance he has made at Wimbledon.