Who are Alexander Zverev’s parents? Former pros Alexander Zverev Sr. and Irina Zvereva coached their tennis playing sons

Shahida Jacobs
The Zverev family
Alexander Zverev (right) with (left to right) his brother Mischa Zverev, father Alexander Zverev senior and mother Irina Zvereva

Did you know Alexander Zverev’s parents Alexander Zverev Sr. and Irina Zvereva are both former professional tennis players?

Alexander Zverev, fondly known as Sacha, has been tipped for big things in tennis since his teens and he is finally looking to take the next major step in his career by winning his maiden Grand Slams.

The German came close to breaking his major duck in 2020 when he finished runner-up to Dominic Thiem at the US Open, but he is now just one win away from getting his hands on the French Open trophy as he will face Carlos Alcaraz in the final.

But Zverev’s rise as one of the best tennis players is no surprise given his deep roots in tennis as his parents coached him from a young age.

Who are Alexander Zverev’s parents?

Alexander Zverev was born on April 20, 1997 to Alexander Zverev Sr. and Irina Zvereva in Hamburg, Germany. He has a brother Mischa, who is 10 years older than him and was born in Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union.

Unsurprisingly both Sacha and Mischa took up tennis with the former reaching a career-high No 2 in the ATP Rankings winning 22 titles while Mischa peaked at No 25 and won one title.

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The pair took after their parents as both Alexander Sr. and Irina represented the Soviet Union during their playing days, albeit they didn’t quite hit the heights of their children as their movements were quite restricted due to international bans.

Alexander Sr., born in Sochi, reached a career-high of No 175 in the rankings in the 80s and had a career record of 3–16 at the top level. He also made appearances at the Australian Open and French Open, but failed to win any matches.

He did have success with his country as he played 36 Davis Cup matches for the Soviet Union, winning 18 rubbers.

Irina had a lot more success despite only reaching a career-high of No 380 in 1993. Her success, though, came at ITF level as she won the ITF Bergisch Gladbach singles title in 1993.

She also has three runners-up trophies to her name, including her final one against Greece’s Julia Apostoli, the mother of one Stefanos Tsitispas.

Alexander Sr. and Irina immigrated to Germany in 1990 and they coached both their sons from a young age with Irina initially taking the lead before her husband took charge.

Alexander Zverev and his father and coach Alexander Zverev sr
Alexander Zverev (l) being coached by father Alexander Zverev sr.

Alexander Sr. coached Zverev for many years, including when he made his breakthrough at top level tennis.

Back in 2018 the young Sacha paid tribute to his father, saying: “[The] achievement of my dad [as a coach] is so impressive because he developed two completely different styles of two brothers from the bottom to top 30 players.

“That is why for me he is one of the best trainers in the world. I’m thankful in the name of my brother and myself.”

In an attempt to take his game to the next level, Sacha had stints with the likes of Juan Carlos Ferrero and David Ferrer, but things didn’t work out and returned to his father in 2022 and it has paid off.

And some of those “Spanish playing lessons” will no doubt come in handy when he faces Alcaraz in the final at Roland Garros.

“Luckily I have a coach who’s my father who couldn’t care less how I feel on the practice court,” Zverev said after beating Alex de Minaur in the quarter-final.

“Since I was three years old, it was always, ‘Okay run! Run here! Run there! Run for four hours straight’. He sometimes forgets that I’m two meters tall and I can hit a serve at 230 kilometres an hour. But he definitely taught me the Spanish way, you know, running for everything, putting the balls back in the court.

“And sometimes it pays off. I wish I would be more aggressive sometimes, but if I’m winning, I’m happy and I’m in the semi-finals and that’s all that matters.”