Alexander Zverev: What's behind his first round at Wimbledon

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“That's just my life,” Alexander Zverev said, and that meant no good.

It could be a lot better for the most successful German professional tennis player, who should just declare his first round defeat against Jiri Vesely in the big press room of Wimbledon. At the beginning of his career Zverev had often occurred at such moments narrow-lipped. Now, above all, he mediated a state of mind: sadness. “I did not lose this game because of my tennis, but because my self-confidence is just below zero,” said the 22-year-old. Zverev faces a big mountain of questions – on and off the field.

The hamburger reported that he was burdened by months of litigation with his former manager Patricio Apey. Without pronouncing the name of the Chilean, Zverev told how Apey is currently bothering him, “I'm very angry about it, a person who has had a lot to do with my life in recent years just trying to make my life as hard as possible And that's especially in front of such a tournament, it hurts, I thought we were friends, “Zverev said. “The last two days have been very hard for me, what's going on is abysmal.”

Break after winning the ATP finals

To break with his manager, who wanted to build him since 2012 to an international brand, it came after Zverev's greatest triumph: the victory in the ATP World Tour Finals, the year-end tournament of the eight best men's professionals in November 2018. “After the success comes his work 'There are many things coming out,' Zverev said, cryptically, indicating that the dispute has just reached a new level of escalation: “There is news again, you can not imagine what he's trying to do,” Zverev said.

The litigation involves at least a high single-digit million sums, which would cost it to prematurely dissolve the 2023 dated contract with Apey. Out of court, you could not agree. On Monday, the “Telegraph” reported that only in the fall of 2020 can be heard in court. As long as Zverev may not hire another manager.

Negotiating without a manager is a disadvantage in a sport where there are such huge price and revenue discrepancies that the very best can only focus on one thing: playing tennis. The rest is done by the team, usually. But Zverev seems to be the first point of contact in all matters at the moment. He has lost not only next to, but also on the square the structure. “Anything that happens outside the field has an effect on me, and I need to sort it out to play well again,” he said.

Conflicts in the coaching team

For the sporting aspect actually two men are responsible, both of whom were born in 1960 and – at least for the moment – together are the coaches of Zverev. There is the father Alexander Zverev senior, who was missing in Wimbledon. But also Ivan Lendl should play the playful direction. Whether the two men point in the same direction, however, seems more and more doubtful.

The nine-time Grand Slam winner Lendl falls into the category of super coaches, so those former tennis greats who were hired in recent years by many top players to stand in the biggest moments advisory to the side. The problem of Zverev is that although he is successful on the tour, there has not been one yet. Have a great moment at one of the four Grand Slam tournaments. Two quarter-finals at 17 Major participations. That's neat. But not as special as Zverev's talent and results would expect for the remainder of the year.

Zverev's fight for the most effective style is reminiscent of another former Lendl protégé: Andy Murray, a two-time Wimbledon winner, who has struggled all his career, including Zverev, to appear as an asset on the court. In his best stages, Murray used his athleticism to turn a passive forehand into a flammable attack strike, protecting his weaker second serve through more aggressive play.

Zverev faces the same challenges, not only to convince with consistency – as in the last two years – but also to counter the new wave of young stars and the old clocks around Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal a playful element of surprise.

After all, Zverev still has big goals. “I've always said the US Open this year is the tournament where I could have my big break,” Zverev said after the break at Wimbledon. There are still 56 days left until the start of the fourth Grand Slam of the Year in New York. Maybe that's enough time to find answers.

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