Giants pave the way in Paris: Zverev's eternal struggle against title trauma

Germany's best tennis player Alexander Zverev is still waiting for his first title in a Grand Slam tournament.

Giants pave the way in Paris: Zverev's eternal struggle against title trauma

Germany's best tennis player Alexander Zverev is still waiting for his first title in a Grand Slam tournament. After a very complicated year so far, is it working at the French Open? The starting position is different than usual. But is it maybe even better?

It was less than half a year ago that the sky seemed the limit for Alexander Zverev. First place in the world rankings, first Grand Slam title - everything seemed possible for the Olympic champion before the Australian Open. At least that's what Germany's best tennis player believed himself. But then Zverev was knocked out in Melbourne in the round of 16. It was the beginning of what has been a very complicated year so far, with the disqualification in Acapulco as the negative highlight.

When Zverev arrived in Paris in the middle of the week, where the French Open begins on Sunday, it happened largely unnoticed. Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz - the headlines before the second Grand Slam tournament of the season are determined by others. Zverev is going a bit under the radar. But that could be his chance. The motto for the next two weeks is: "I won't put up with that. Now my time has come, now I want to win," said Zverev's brother and manager Mischa Zverev in the Eurosport podcast "Das Gelbe vom Ball".

So Zverev is going into the clay court classic with new ambition. And with a clearly rising shape. Final at the Masters 1000 event in Madrid, semi-finals at the Masters 1000 tournaments in Monte Carlo and Rome. Only at the home tournament in Munich did the 25-year-old miss out and was eliminated right at the start. But above all the performances in Madrid and Rome are encouraging. "I feel better and better on the pitch," said Zverev. "I've improved from game to game and I hope I can play my best tennis in Paris."

That will be necessary if Zverev really wants to play for the title. Because the draw has it all. Although there is only one qualifier waiting at the start, there could already be a duel with the Spanish prodigy Alcaraz in the quarter-finals. The 19-year-old is the top favorite for many pundits this year after his impressive performances in Madrid, where he defeated Nadal, Djokovic and Zverev in succession.

In the semi-finals, either industry leader Djokovic or record Grand Slam champion Nadal could wait - it couldn't be harder to get to the final. "I think there's a good chance that the French Open winner will come from this half," said Zverev. But Zverev doesn't want to put himself under pressure. He learned from Melbourne, where he seemed kind of tense from day one. "I think I lost a few matches at Grand Slams because I really wanted the title," said Zverev.

He is supported by his father, who was by his side as a coach for the first time in Rome. "He gives me a certain calm, a certain self-confidence," said Zverev about Zverev Senior's return. "He's been there from the start of my career. Nobody knows me better on the court than he does. He gives me something I can't get from anyone else, a kind of calm and confidence. It's just there when he there is."

But the Spaniard Sergi Bruguera will also be back in Paris. "He will be able to give Sascha a few tips that may be very interesting and important," said Mischa Zverev. All in all, this should lead to the coup in Paris. And then Zverev would have everyone back on the radar.


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