Alexander Zverev opens up about mental health struggles: ‘I think I was quite depressed at times’

Alexander Zverev wipes his face

Alexander Zverev has put the spotlight back on mental health in sport as he admitted that he has “struggling a lot this year”, but says it is not because of social media.

The mental health of players has been at the forefront ever since four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka revealed that she is struggling with anxiety and depression shortly after withdrawing from the 2021 French Open.

After initially being criticised for not wanting to do press conferences at Roland Garros to protect her mental health, Osaka was widely praised for opening up.

And the issue has become a hot topic in recent months and now Zverev is the latest to reveal he has also been “depressed at times”.

The German has had off-court and on court problems as his former girlfriend has accused him of domestic violence with the ATP investigation the issue while in February this year he was withdrawn from the Mexican Open after smashing the umpire’s chair with his racket.

Zverev shared more details about his struggles, but insisted it is not down to social media.

“You have to learn not to look at it,” Zverev he said. “But for me, my mental health does not depend on social media.

“My mental health depends on other problems I have, to be honest. I never talk about it. I think some players talk about it more often, and more open. I don’t like to do that, but I was struggling a lot this year.

“So, yeah, not because of social media. I was struggling a lot because of other things, so I was not happy.

“I think I was quite depressed at times, as well. So, yeah. It’s all a big part. I think the pressure we are under, we are constantly in a spotlight.”

Many former players and pundits have often been critical about the current generation not being tough enough, but Zverev stresses that things are quite different these days due to social media.

“I think players from 20, 30 years ago don’t understand because now every single little thing you do, there is a camera there or someone that can comment on it or there is someone that will write about it,” he said.

“Thirty years ago it wasn’t like that. These days I think with social media and a lot of other platforms, there is a lot more involvement and there is a lot more hatred going on.

“That’s just the world we live in right now. It’s sad to see. But that’s the reality, because I think social media gives everybody a platform to say whatever they want, good or bad.”