Alexander Zverev eyes end to legal dispute with former agent, takes a shot at Ivan Lendl

Alexander Zverev

It has been a difficult year for Alexander Zverev, but he hopes some of the off-court distractions will soon be a thing of the past.

Having won the 2018 ATP Finals trophy, Zverev started this campaign as the man tipped to dethrone the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, but he has fallen well short.

He has won only one title, the Geneva Open, while his best performance at the Grand Slams was a quarter-final appearance at the French Open.

Besides his on-court struggles, he has also had off-court battles as he is involved in a legal dispute with his former manager Patricio Apey. The duo went their separate ways at the end of last season, but Apey insists their contract is valid until 2023.

The world No 5, though, is confident the matter will be solved soon.

“Hopefully this issue won’t be an issue any more soon,” Zverev said.

“It will become clearer over the next days. Everything will be slowly cleared up so that I can completely concentrate on tennis again.”

Zverev crashed out in the first round at Wimbledon earlier this month and it led to German great Boris Becker raising questions about Ivan Lendl’s contribution as his coach.

Lendl didn’t work with Zverev in the lead-up to the grass-court Grand Slam and Becker wrote in his Daily Mail column: “I have a lot of time for Zverev who I know through my work in German tennis, and he has been doing some work with Ivan Lendl.

“But it did not help that Ivan was not around for the two months before this tournament. You either have your mentor around or you don’t. I do think it is important to surround yourself with people who know what it takes to win a major championship but it needs to be done properly.”

Zverev revealed that he has asked Lendl to commit more to his coaching role, saying they often spend time talking about “golf and his little dog”.

“Sometimes we go on the practice court. The training is over two hours. And for half an hour he stands with his back to me and tells me about his round of golf,” he said.

He added: “We talked about it, and I told him that he should focus more on tennis.”

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