Alexander Zverev Has ‘A Lot Of Room For Improvement,’ Says New Coach Ferrer - UBITENNIS
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Alexander Zverev Has ‘A Lot Of Room For Improvement,’ Says New Coach Ferrer

The former French Open finalist provides insight into his current work with the tennis star.




It took three separate calls to persuade former top 10 player David Ferrer to join the team of world No.7 Alexander Zverev.


Just a year after ending his professional career, the Spaniard finds himself back on the Tour in a new capacity in what is his first top-level coaching job. After travelling to Monte Carlo for a trial period, it was confirmed that Ferrer will be on Zverev’s team for at least the rest of 2020. Although getting him to join in the first place was a tough task.

There were other proposals, but Zverev called me three times to ask if I could be his coach,” Ferrer said during an interview with Punto de Break. The first two I told him that I couldn’t, that I had other things in mind, but during confinement (lockdown) he called me a third time. I liked that, that he was the one who contacted me, he encouraged me to try.”

Both men are fairly familiar with each other after facing off nine times on the ATP Tour, including three in 2019. Zverev was the last player Ferrer played against at the Madrid Open before officially retiring from the sport at the age of 37. Following that match the German described his new coach as ‘one of the most loved people on the Tour.’

Ferrer isn’t the only person guiding the 23-year-old on the Tour. He is also mentored by his father who is a former player himself and won two gold medals at the 1985 summer Universiade. Under the new arrangement, Ferrer outlines the area that he is solely responsible for at present.

”I am the one who designs all the exercises. When I am not present, I contact his father and tell him about everything I want to do,” he explains.
“In this sense, Sascha is learning a lot from me and his father also really likes the pattern that I wanted to bet on.’
“I don’t know if I’m the head coach or not, to this day I don’t care, I don’t have egos for that. What I can tell you is that I do the exercises.”

In recent years Zverev has been one of the players tipped to take over the reign of the Big Three in the future. His resume currently features 11 ATP titles that include three at Masters level and one in the ATP Finals. He first broke into the world’s top three back in 2017 when he became the youngest player to do so for a decade (Novak Djokovic 2007).

Although it hasn’t all been smooth running for the German who has only won one ATP tournament over the past 18 months. Doing so at the 2019 Geneva Open on clay. Although in January he achieved his best Grand Slam result so far with a run to the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

“I think he has a lot of room for improvement mentally and tennis too,” Ferrer commented. “Maybe in playing more forward, or certain technical aspects that he can polish.’
“We are talking about a player who is already very good, but by improving certain tennis and mental aspects he can win Grand Slams and be very high. You always need to evolve and improve in your game, this is what motivates me the most, that even knowing everything that has already won, we know that it can still be better. I believe it 100

Zverev experienced a short lived return to competitive tennis this week at the Western and Southern Open in New York. Seeded fifth in the tournament, he crashed out in his opening match to Andy Murray. Zverev served for the win at 5-4 in the decisive set but then got broken twice in a row.

The truth is that Murray played at a great level in the first set, it surprised me,” Ferrer commented on the match.
“Then at 5-4 and service (for the match) came that moment where the tension prevented him from closing and cost him the game. It’s the first game so I can’t make an assessment yet. His attitude was good, I’m not worried.”

The next test will be at the US Open where Ferrer says he expects to see ‘more surprises’ in the early rounds than normal following the Tour break. Once again Novak Djokovic will be the favourite to win the title as Zverev chases after his maiden major trophy. Although his new coach explains that it is an ongoing process that shouldn’t be rushed.

“We know that the higher you are, the more pressure you have, especially if you are young and have already won important things, people will always ask you to take the next leap,” he said.
“What the team has to achieve is that the player is as calm as possible and goes step by step.’
“We just started, I don’t want to venture out and talk too much either. What worries me now is that he improves mentally and tennis, that will be what leads him to have options to win important titles, whether they are Grand Slams, Masters 1000 or whatever.”

Zverev will play Kevin Anderson in his first round match at Flushing Meadows.


Alexander Zverev Ditches Federer’s TEAM8 Management Firm To Return To His ‘Roots’

Zverev speaks out about his ‘short and long term strategies going forward.’




German tennis star Alexander Zverev has confirmed his departure from TEAM8 as he set out his coaching plans for the season ahead.


The world No.7 posted a statement on Instagram saying that he no longer wants to be represented by the management firm, which was co-founded by Roger Federer and his agent Tony Godsick. Zverev says part of his decision was because he wanted his family to take a greater role once again. Instead, he will be managed by his brother Misha, who is the captain of the German ATP Cup team, as well as Sergei Bubka.

“I have decided to go back to the roots and have my family help me with my coaching, as well as Mischa and Sergei Bubka with my management,” Zverev wrote.
“I want to thank TEAM8 for the great work and tremendous experience, but we both feel that it’s the right decision to have my family take on a bigger role once again.”

Zverev’s announcement comes less than two weeks after it was confirmed he will no longer be working with David Ferrer. A former world No.3 player who joined his camp last year. Ferrer confirmed that the ending of their partnership was on mutual terms and there was no conflict between the two. The Spaniard said his role as tournament director of the Barcelona Open and family commitments contributed towards his decision.

Last year the 23-year-old broke new territory in his career by reaching the final of the US Open which he lost in five sets to Dominic Thiem. Zverev also won two ATP titles in Cologne. However, his on-court success was overshadowed by events in his personal life. He has been accused of mental and physical abuse by his former girlfriend Olga Sharypova, which Zverev has denied. Meanwhile, it was revealed that another former partner of his is pregnant with his child.

Heading into the Australian Open, Zverev is likely to face more scrutiny over the domestic abuse allegations after it was confirmed that a new account from Sharypova will be published in the coming weeks. New York Times journalist and freelance writer Ben Rothenberg confirmed that a second interview will be released before the start of the Melbourne major. It is unknown as to what the interview will entail but there has been a prior reference to one ‘incident’ in China.

Zverev’s Instagram statement in full

“What a year 2020 has been, for the whole world and for myself. I reached my first Grand Slam final without my parents and brother being court-side due to them contracting COVID-19. An almost 2 year long legal dispute with my former agent finally came to a successful resolution, so I have spent a lot of time thinking about my short and long term strategies going forward. For this reason and because of the ongoing worldwide restrictions, I have decided to go back to the roots and have my family help me with my coaching, as well as Mischa and Sergei Bubka with my management. I want to thank TEAM8 for the great work and tremendous experience, but we both feel that it’s the right decision to have my family take on a bigger role once again.”

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No Special Treatment For Andy Murray, Says Australian Government

The three-time Grand Slam champion still wants to travel to Melbourne later this month but will it be possible?




Andy Murray must provide a negative COVID-19 test and no preferential treatment will be given to him if he attempts to play the Australian Open, according to a government minister.


The former world No.1 was set to travel to Australia later this week but is unable to after testing positive for the coronavirus. As a result, Murray is currently self-isolating in his London home and is therefore unable to start the mandatory 14-day quarantine period along with other players. Although he is hopeful to still travel to Melbourne at a later date.

Whether or not he will be allowed to do so in the coming weeks is unclear. In a statement Tennis Australia wished the three-time Grand Slam champion a ‘happy recovery’ but didn’t address the possibility that Murray can travel at a later date than his peers. It is understood that negotiations are currently ongoing with coach tournament director Craig Tiley.

“The Australian Open fans love Andy, and we know how much he loves competing here in Melbourne and how hard he’s worked for this opportunity,” a statement reads.

Murray is not the only player unable to travel this week as a result of a positive test. Others include Madison Keys, Davidovich Fokina and Dominic Thiem’s coach Nicolas Massu. Tennys Sandgren also tested positive but has been allowed to fly because health officials say he is ‘viral shedding from a previous virus’. Sandgren tested positive for the virus back in November.

Martin Foley, who is the Minister of Health for the Victorian government, says no special treatment will be provided to Murray in his bid to play in the Grand Slam. The Brit was granted entry into the main draw thanks to a wild card. He missed the 2019 tournament due to pelvic bruising and the year before he stunned the sport by saying he may be forced to retire before later undergoing career-saving hip surgery.

In regards to Mr Murray, we’ve been clear from the start that anyone who tests positive is not able to be part of the program coming into Melbourne and Australia,” Foley told reporters on Friday.
“Mr Murray, and the other 1240 people as part of the program, need to demonstrate that if they’re coming to Melbourne they have returned a negative test.
“So should Mr Murray arrive, and I have no indication that he will, he will be subject to those same rigorous arrangements as everyone else.
“Should he test positive prior to his attempts to come to Australia, he will be refused.”

This year’s Australian Open is taking place under strict COVID-19 protocols. During quarantine players will be allowed to train up to five hours each day but not play in any professional tournaments. Those who break the rules could face a fine of AUS$20,000, prosecution and even deportation.

The Melbourne major will start on February 8th.


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Andy Murry Tests Positive For COVID-19, Australian Open Hopes In Doubt

A representative for the former world No.1 has confirmed that he is currently in isolation.




Andy Murray faces a race against time to make the Australian Open after testing positive for COVID-19.


Multiple British media sources have confirmed that the three-time Grand Slam champion has been in self-isolation since testing positive and it is believed that he is in good health. The Daily Mail has reported that Murray is experiencing only ‘minor symptoms’ of the virus. He undertook the test as part of the requirement by Tennis Australia under their COVID-19 protocols which requires all arrivals to test negative. However, Tennys Sandgren has been given the all clear to travel despite testing positive.

Murray and his team are now hoping that they will still be able to make it in time for the Australian Open which begins on February 8th. Nicolas Massu, who is the coach of Dominic Thiem, finds himself in the same situation as Murray. Besides being required to test negative, players must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Australia before they are allowed to play in any tournaments. Although they are allowed to train during this period for up to five hours a day. Tennis Australia is yet to comment on Murray and if they will allow him to join their ‘bio-secure bubble’ at a later date.

There is no proof of where Murray caught the virus but growing speculation surrounds the National Tennis Center in Roehampton where it has previously been reported that a minor outbreak occurred. The Brit had been training at the facility and it is understood that fellow player Paul Jubb have also contracted COVID-19.

The 33-year-old is eager to return to the Australian Open two years after admitting at the tournament that he may be forced to retire from the sport due to a serious hip injury. In 2018 he stunned reporters by saying ‘I’m not sure I’m able to play through the pain for another four or five months’ before going on to say that the Australian Open may be his last tournament. Following his first round loss, the Brit even had a video tribute played to him at the event. However, since then he had managed to continue his career with the help of hip resurfacing surgery. It was another injury (pelvic bruising) that also forced him to skip the Melbourne major last year.

Murray is a five-time finalist at the Australian Open.

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