Alexander Zverev Opens Up About Recent Struggles On The Tour - UBITENNIS
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Alexander Zverev Opens Up About Recent Struggles On The Tour

A series of events going on in his personal life has been troubling the German star.

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Alexander Zverev (photo by Chryslène Caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

World No.3 Alexander Zverev believes his form is ‘pretty much back’ as he aims to turn around his fortunes on the tour at this week’s Munich Open in Germany.

 

Since reaching the final of the Acapulco Open in February, the 21-year-old has failed to win back-to-back matches at four consecutive tournaments. His most recent loss was to Fabio Fognini at the Monte Carlo Masters. Overall, Zverev has won 12 out of 18 matches played so far this season. Placing him in 21st position in the ATP Race to London.

“Obviously I didn’t play my best the past few weeks. But I feel good on the court, I’m happy on the court and this is the most important thing,” Zverev said on Sunday. “I feel like my game is pretty much back on the practice courts in the way I hit the ball, but I just have to show it in the matches. I think I’ll have a few very tough matches and if I win them, I think I’m in good shape and good form. We’ll see how it goes.”

Guided by Ivan Lendl, Zverev admits that he has been distracted by things happening off the court. He is currently locked in a legal battle with his former manager Patricio Apey. Details of the case are private, but it is thought that Zverev’s former manager believes the contract between the two runs until at least 2023. Apey is the founder of ACE Group International. A talent and event management company that played a pivotal role in the creation of The Boodles Event that takes place in the lead up to Wimbledon.

“The story with my manager costs a lot of power right now. That’s why I spent the last few hours almost every day on the phone almost every day.Tennis Magazin quoted Zverev as saying.
“That’s why the focus has been lost in recent weeks. But now it has calmed down and I can concentrate on tennis. I think that the situation will be resolved in a few days, but maybe only in a few months.”

If the legal dispute wasn’t enough, the reigning ATP Finals champion has also been dealing with other issues in his personal life. Including separating from his girlfriend Olga Sharypova and his father is currently in hospital for an unspecified reason.

Reflecting on his recent results on the tour, Zverev refuses to put the blame on Lendl. Who joined his team shortly before last year’s US Open. Although he admits that he has found it hard on the tour without the support of his father, who has played a pivotal part in his coaching team throughout his career.

“That’s not the reason for my performance. I call Ivan regularly. He watches my matches and advises me.” He stated. “One reason is rather that my father was not there in the past few weeks and is still missing here in Munich. In such difficult phases, I have been with my father more often than with Lendl. Because of that and of course for all the reasons, I hope my dad gets well soon.”

Yet to replicate the success he had at the ATP Finals in November, Zverev is confident that he will be able to return back to the winner’s circle in the near future as he improves. At present, the last two winners of the season-ending tournament have not won any other trophy on the tour. The other player is 2017 champion Grigor Dimitrov.

“You have phases in London where everything is going and you have the best time of your life and sometimes it does not work that way.” He explained. “But I think that if I can survive this phase, I can emerge stronger from it.”

Zverev faces a crucial few weeks on the tour with a total of 1850 points to defend in his next three tournaments. He is currently the reigning champion in both Munich and Madrid.

Zverev is the top seed in Munich this week. Granted a bye in the first round, he will play either Maximilian Marterer or Juan Ignacio Londero in his opening match.

Points Zverev is defending on the clay

– Munich: 250 (champion)
– Madrid: 1000 (champion)
– Rome: 600 (runner-up)
– Roland Garros: 360 (quarter-finalist)

 

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Year-End No.1 Not A Priority For Rafael Nadal, Says Murray

Murray spoke about his rival as he gives a update on his current form.

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Three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray believes rival Rafael Nadal is not focusing on the prospect of ending the season as world No.1.

 

Murray spoke about the big three during an extensive interview with The Times. A group compromising of Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. The Brit is currently on the comeback from hip resurfacing surgery and recently reached the quarter-finals of the China Open. His best run on the ATP Tour so far this season. Currently ranked 289th in the world, Murray admits that he still has a way to go to the top. However, the 32-year-old is drawing inspiration from some of his rivals.

“If I do get up there, I’m not going to be focusing on ranking targets. You look at what Roger [Federer], Rafa [Nadal] and I guess Novak [Djokovic], to a certain extent, are doing to give themselves a chance to play longer.” Murray told The Times.
“Right now, Rafa could be fighting to finish number one in the world and it’s not a priority for him. I would like to be competitive in the big events against the best players. I’m not there yet, but I’m closer than I was a month ago, and much closer than a couple of months ago,” he said.

Nadal is currently closing in on the world No.1 spot despite not playing since winning the US Open. On Monday Djokovic’s lead over him will be reduced to 320 points after the Serbian lost in the third round of the Shanghai Masters. Then on November 4th he is guaranteed to return to the top spot before the ATP Finals. Even more significant is that Nadal has no ranking points to defend for the rest of the season compared to 1600 for Djokovic.

Murray’s comments on Nadal echoes what the Spaniard has previously said. During the US Open in September, the king of clay stated that returning to the top was ‘not his main goal’ with his health being top priority.

“I don’t compete for it. I just do my way. If I am able to be No.1 doing it my way, great. But I always say the same: today is not my main goal.” He explained.
“Of course, it’s great to be in that fight. But for me personally, it’s not really a fight. I just try be competitive the weeks that I need to compete, or the weeks that I want to compete.’
“With my age and with my goals, I cannot lose energy or time to follow the No.1. I need to think about my career in a different way.
‘For me, my main goal is play as long as possible and compete, being competitive. Sometimes if you need to follow the No.1, you are going to lose years of your career.”

Nadal is set to return to action in November at the Paris Masters. Meanwhile, Murray returns to the court tomorrow at the European Open where he will play Kimmer Coppejans in the first round.

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Danil Medvedev beats Stefanos Tsitsipas in Shanghai semifinal to reach his sixth consecutive final

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Danil Medvedev reached his ninth final this year and his sixth consecutive title match after beating Greek Next Gen star Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 after 1 hour and 38 minutes in the semifinal of the Shanghai Rolex Masters.

 

The 23-year-old Russian player has now beaten his 21-year-old Greek rival in all their five head-to-head matches. Medvedev has reached his third Masters 1000 final after finishing runner-up to Rafael Nadal and winning the Cincinnati final last August. In an impressive hard-court season Medvedev lost the US Open final in five sets against Rafael Nadal and won the indoor tournament in St. Petersburg. Since losing to David Goffin the Moscow player has won 28 of his last 31 matches. He has become the 16th player in the Open Era to reach six consecutive finals.

Medvedev hit 25 winners to 18 unforced errors and saved four of the five break points.

Tsitsipas earned three break points at 4-4 in the opening set. Medvedev saved them with two serves and a forced error from Tsitsipas. The first set came down to the tie-break where both players stayed neck and neck until 5-5. The first 10 points of the tie-break went on serve. Medvedev got the decisive mini-break in the 11th game, when Tsitsipas made a forehand error. Medvedev closed out the first set after a backhand error from Tsitsipas.

In the second set Tsitsipas wasted game points at 1-1. Medvedev got the break in the third game of the second set with a backhand down the line winner. He consolidated the break by holding his serve with three service winners. Tsitsipas broke back at 15, when Medvedev was serving for the match. Medvedev broke for the second time in the 11th game with a forehand return before sealing the win in the 12th game with three service winners. Medvedev has become the 13th player since 1990 to reach three consecutive Masters 1000 finals.

“I think it’s a great achievement. I am proud of myself. Hopefully I can get the win tomorrow. It’s actually quite crazy. Here I had a lot of opportunities. to lose sets. I was close to losing a lot of them, especially with Vasek Pospisil with five set points. I think that’s also the confidence and the dynamic I am going through”, said Medvedev.

Tsitsipas was bidding to reach his second consecutive final after finishing runner-up to Dominic Thiem in Beijing.

 

 

 

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Alexander Zverev beats Roger Federer in Shanghai to reach his eighth Masters 1000 semifinal

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Alexander Zverev battled past Roger Federer 6-3 6-7 (7-9) 6-3 in 2 hours and 4 minutes to reach his eighth Masters 1000 semifinal and the first since Shanghai last year.

 

The German star has moved up to seventh in the ATP Race to London after reaching two consecutive semifinals in Beijing and Shanghai and has a good chance to qualify for his third consecutive ATP Finals.

Zverev hit 43 winners (including 17 aces) to 23 unforced errors and faced three just three break points in the entire match. He dropped his serve twice and broke four times.

Zverev did not convert five match points in the final stages of the second set.

Zverev dropped three points in his service games and hit 11 winners to 6 unforced errors. The Hamburg native earned a break at 3-2 and held his next service games to close out the first set with four service winners in the ninth game after 27 minutes.

Both Federer and Zverev traded breaks in the second and third games of the second set and held their serve in the next seven games to draw level to 5-5. Zverev broke serve in the 11th game with a forehand winner, when Federer was serving in the 11th game. Zverev wasted three match points on serve in the 12th game and was broken by Federer, who drew level to 6-6 to set up a tie-break.

Federer saved match points at 5-6 and 6-7 in the tie-break and closed out the second set with an ace.

Zverev held at 15 in the first game with a service winner in the first game and broke serve in the second game after a forehand error from Federer.

Zverev held serve at love in the third game to build up a 3-0 lead. He earned two break points in the fourth game, but Federer saved them. The Swiss player fended off another break point at 1-4 with a forehand winner. Zverev held serve at love to build up a 5-2 lead.

Zverev closed out the match with a hold at 15, as he was serving for the match in the ninth game, to set up a semifinal against either Dominic Thiem or Matteo Berrettini.

Zverev adds to his ATP Race to London ranking with 2615 points to take seventh place ahead of  Roberto Bautista Agut.

“Finally starting to kind of play the way I should play, I was really playing really defensive the whole year, and I was not with a lot of confidence. He will always find a way. He will always make it tricky for you like he did today with me, and always got to play your best tennis to have a chance. I knew if I am going to keep playing the way I played the first two sets, I am going to have a chance in the third set as well”, said Zverev after the match.

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