Alexander Zverev confesses why he kept his diabetes diagnosis secret until 25

In 2022, Zverev revealed that he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was three.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Alexander Zverev confesses why he kept his diabetes diagnosis secret until 25
© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Alexander Zverev, 26, admits he felt "uncomfortable" speaking about his diabetes diagnosis and that's why he kept it a secret until publicly revealing it in 2022. 

In 2022 August, top-ranked German male tennis player Zverev went public with his diagnosis, revealing that he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was just three. When announcing his diagnosis, Zverev also announced the launch of a charity that had the goal of raising awareness of diabetes and helping diabetic kids.

"I felt uncomfortable with the subject for various reasons. Firstly, I didn’t want to have an excuse for winning or losing. And secondly, I didn’t want everyone to know, so I preferred to keep it a secret. Usually, I would inject myself in the bathroom, I didn’t want anyone to see that I was diabetic," Zverev told tennis MAGAZIN.

Alexander Zverev
Alexander Zverev© Getty Images Sport - Clive Mason
 

Zverev: I proved the doctors wrong

After being diagnosed with diabetes at a very young age, Zverev was told by the doctors that it would not be possible for him to become an elite athlete with such a condition. But Zverev didn't listen to the doctors and instead became very determined to prove them wrong. 20 years later, Zverev is widely regarded as one of the best tennis players in the world.

On the court, Zverev always has everything that he needs to manage his disease. During matches, Zverev is regularly checking his sugar levels. Also, Zverev always has his insulin pen with him so he can always inject himself one when he needs it. Pro tennis players are not allowed to take insulin shots but since Zverev has been diagnosed with a medical condition, he has been granted a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). 

Alexander Zverev
Alexander Zverev© Getty Images Sport - Darrian Traynor
 

During the 2023 French Open, Zverev was left frustrated after a chair umpire told him he would need to use one of his toilet breaks if he wanted to leave the court to inject his insulin. At that moment, Zverev took his insulin pen out of his bag and injected himself insulin on the court.

Alexander Zverev
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