Zverev 'Not Even Thinking About Turin' Early In Comeback Year

  • Posted: Nov 11, 2023

Zverev ‘Not Even Thinking About Turin’ Early In Comeback Year

German looking for more success in Italy

Apart from Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev is the only active player to win multiple titles at the Nitto ATP Finals. The German won the title at the O2 Arena in London in 2018 as well as here in Turin in 2021.

Zverev missed the chance to qualify for the year-end event in 2022 when a horrific ankle injury suffered in the middle of his Roland Garros semi-final against Rafael Nadal ended his season.

Zverev won two titles this year and is currently at No.7 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. However, a few months ago, qualifying for Turin was not something he would have expected given his slow start to the year when coming back from injury. “It was difficult in the beginning. I was nowhere near even thinking about Turin,” Zverev said. “I was thinking about how to win matches. I was barely winning matches. I was barely making points as well.

“It kind of turned around in the summer for me. I made the semi-finals of Roland Garros. I think that was a big turning point for me. From then onwards, it was fun to be on the tennis court again.”

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The German learned some important lessons while working his way to the top eight again. When asked about lessons learned, Zverev stated, “That you don’t get what you want straight away. You have to be patient at times. You have to be working for the things you really want to achieve.

“Before the injury I was so close to being World No.1 and that was kind of taken away from me. All of a sudden after the injury, I was 27 in the world. So being back in the top eight and being back at this tournament is very special.”

Zverev has been drawn in the red group alongside Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev, and Andrey Rublev.

On playing Rublev, Zverev described what he sees across the net as “powerful, a lot of effort, and a lot of hard-hitting forehands.”

Zverev has faced Medvedev 17 times in his career. The German trails 6-11 in their Lexus ATP Head2Head series. “We were tied in the head to head before this season,” he said. “Then, this season came along. We played a lot in the first part of the season, and then we played twice in the second part of the season which went one-all.

“He’s somebody that doesn’t give you anything. He’s like a wall on the court and you really have to kind of win the match yourself.”

Zverev plays 2023 debutant Alcaraz in his opening round-robin match on Monday afternoon. The German is tied at 3-3 in the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series.

When asked what it’s like to face the 20-year-old Spaniard, Zverev said, “He is one of the best players in the world over the last two years. He has won two grand slams and has been World No.1. So it’s no secret that it is difficult.”

The 21-time titlist is one of the few players on Tour to have a good record against Alcaraz. When asked what he has to do to beat him, he responded, “To be at your best. The times that I have beaten him, I was playing my absolute best tennis. If you are not quite there, if you are a little slow-ish, if you are not hitting the ball as well as you can, you don’t have any chance.”

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