One think you can say about Alexander Zverev is his headband is staying but his game needs to change.
He has admitted that there is allot of improvement in his game if he is to make any impact this season and especially at the 2020 Australian Open. He may look the part of a tennis gladiator with his build and headband but its not coming together at the start of this tennis season for him. The German star got off to a disastrous start in the season opening ATP Cup, losing three straight matches .For a world number seven, former world number three, and 11-time ATP champion, this is far below the benchmark that Zverev has set for himself. The 22-year-old lost (4-6 7-6 (3) 6-2) to the Australian Alex de Minaur on Friday, with Zverev winning his first and only set of the week. The German went on to lose in straight sets to Stefanos Tsitsipas (6-1 6-4) on Sunday, before being demolished (6-2 6-2) on Tuesday by the Canadian Denis Shapovalov.
Zverev admitted: "There's a lot of things that I still need to get better at, but it's the start of the season and I need to find my rhythm."
It was widely thought that the likes of Alexander Zverev would take over from the old big-dogs in the tennis world a couple of years ago, yet this failed to happen. Whether this is down to Djokovic, Federer, and Nadal maintaining such high levels, or the up-and-comers falling short of expectation, it is not quite clear. What is clear is the fact that Rafa Nadal (33), Novak Djokovic (32), and Roger Federer (38) are still numbers one, two, and three in the world respectively. However, while Zverev will surely want to become world number one in Rafa’s place in the near future, he has no desire to see the trio retire.
Zverev claims that he wants the big names to delay their retirements as he dreams to win a Grand Slam tournament while they are still competing at the top. Having said that, the 22-year-old insists that the players his age will have to take over at some point soon.
He said: “Are we going to take over at some point? Yes! We have to. They’re not going to be there forever. And anyway, I actually don’t want those guys to retire. I just want to be better than them. I’m not sitting at home and thinking, ‘OK, I still have, what, two, three years until they retire, and then I’m going to take over tennis’. No, that’s not how it is.”
He also claims that he does not want people to accuse him to succeeding just because Novak, Roger, and Rafa are gone: “Yeah, but those guys were better than you. I don’t want to be the No 1 in the world because other people aren’t playing. I want to be No 1 because I’m better than everybody else.”
So far in his grand slam career, Zverev has reached the quarter-finals of the French Open, and the fourth round of each of the Australian Open, US Open, and Wimbledon. Could 2020 be his year? Could we be in the decade of Alexander Zverev?