‘I was not the better player on court,’ says Alexander Zverev after stuttering French Open win
Alexander Zverev is eager to pick up steam at the French Open following a sluggish start, saying he hopes to have a similar success story to the one he had at the US Open.
The German reached the third round at Roland Garros as he required five sets to beat Pierre-Hugues Herbert, eventually winning 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-4 in three hours and 59 minutes.
The 23-year-old concedes that he didn’t play well against Frenchman Herbert, but hung in there and got the win.
“I think I’m quite fit, to be honest. I feel like physically I’m okay. But sometimes I just feel like I find a way [to win],” he said.
“I was not the better player on court. I was not hitting my forehand better, not hitting my backhand better, not serving better. I was not doing anything better than he did. But I found a way, which was the most important. Sometimes I manage to do that quite well.”
He added: “It’s something that I worked on not in the matches, but outside the court, in the gym [during] the offseason and the training blocks that I did. It was for these moments,” Zverev said. “You don’t need to be lifting 170 kilos on dead lifts or 150 kilos on squats for three-set matches. That’s not what you’re doing it for. You’re doing it for five-set matches, for the big moments like this. I think that the work has been done not on the court, but off the court.”
Zverev, though, is quite used to playing long matches in Grand Slams as the US Open final, which he lost against Dominic Thiem, and the semi-final were also five setters while four of his other five matches were four sets.
“I did that at the US Open,” he said. “The first few rounds I did not play well and I managed to be two points away from winning the whole tournament. Sometimes that’s just the way it is and I hope I can do something similar here.”
LTA chief calls for more Government funding to save indoor tennis centres
Able-bodied adults in England in areas under increased restrictions are not allowed to play tennis indoors with anyone from a different household.
Dan Evans books second-round place at Vienna Open on back of Aljaz Bedene retirement
Slovenian called time on the match after suffering a right thigh injury.
Tennis Top 10
Top 10 ATP No 1s by weeks: Novak Djokovic closing in on Roger Federer milestone, but who else features?
Refresh your memory of the top 10 ATP No 1s by weeks.
Tennis Today: Andy Murray eyes visit to most remote tennis court in world, Serena Williams struts her stuff
Tennis Today features Andy Murray and Serena Williams.
WATCH: Rafael Nadal swaps tennis rackets for golf clubs and finishes tied sixth at Balearic Golf Pro-Am
Rafael Nadal the golfer is quite good.
Now that his biggest dream has become a reality, Dominic Thiem is ready to achieve new goals
Dominic Thiem sets sights on new goals.
Andrey Rublev and Diego Schwartzman closing in on last two ATP Finals places
Schwartzman increased points tally in Cologne.
Novak Djokovic praises ‘hard worker, great guy’ Dominic Thiem: ‘He deserves it more than anybody else’
Novak Djokovic impressed by Dominic Thiem.
Dominic Thiem hails ‘unreal’ Vienna Open field, saying defending title is ‘not mission impossible, but almost’
Dominic Thiem up against it in Vienna.
Another Cologne trophy for Alexander Zverev as he vows ‘to be on top of the game very soon’
Another week, another Cologne trophy for Zverev.