Alexander Zverev reflects on ‘hardest year’ of his life after French Open horror injury

Alexander Zverev in pain - only in PA content

Alexander Zverev revealed that the year following his horror injury at the 2022 French Open was the toughest of his life. 

The 26-year-old declared that he plays tennis because of his love for the sport, not for the “money, fame or anything else.”

Zverev tore all three ligaments in his right ankle during the second set of his semi-final against Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros last year.

The injury forced the German to leave the court in a wheelchair and kept him out for the rest of the 2022 season.

Exactly one year on from suffering the injury on Court Philippe-Chatrier, the world No 27 defeated Frances Tiafoe in four sets on the same court.

Speaking following his third round victory against the world No 12, Zverev looked back on the past 12 months.

“Today marks exactly one year. I know that. It’s been definitely the hardest year of my life, that’s for sure,” the German said in his on-court interview.

“I play the sport not because of the money, not because of the fame, not because of anything else but the pure sport. I love this. I love the competitiveness. I love playing in front of you guys.

“I love tennis more than anything in the world. So, being away from that and kind of have that being taken away from me was very difficult. But I’m so happy to be back here.

“I’m so happy to be playing these tough battles again on this beautiful court, in front of this beautiful crowd. Hopefully it’s going to be a fun second week for me because I’m here to stay.”

The 26-year-old was also asked if the injury went through his mind during his win over Tiafoe.

“Not really because I know what I had to do, but I’m here to play tennis. At the end of the day I know what happened last year. It was emotional for me to step on that court for the first time when I played Molcan, I’m not going to lie,” Zverev said in his press conference.

“But now I’m here to play some of the best players in the world, and today was definitely the case in that. I’m happy with the win and happy to be through.”

Zverev will face Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round of the French Open on Monday.

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