Alexander Zverev didn't have a regular life like other teenagers, starting traveling with his older brother Mischa and competing at the professional events well before turning 16. The young German knew that was the price to pay if he wanted to chase his goals and become one of the world's greatest players.
At 24, Zverev has already won the ATP Finals and three Masters 1000 titles, staying in the top-10 for almost four consecutive years and reaching a Major final at the US Open last year. Speaking about his early tennis years after the victory over Kei Nishikori in Madrid, Zverev said that he had to take that path and remain dedicated, describing it as the only way to carry him towards the top of men's tennis.
"As I said before, I couldn't work on my serve for a month or so after Miami. After losing to Ilya Ivashka in Munich, I decided to practice my serve again and go back to my routines; I think that helped me a lot.
I was very pleased with the all-around performance against Kei. My serve worked well, alongside return and backhand. It was a good match for me because Kei is not a player who would gift anything to you; I feel I earned the victory today.
Alexander Zverev spoke about teenage years and things he had to sacrifice.
Yeah, I think we were all missing an everyday teenage life, parties and everything that comes with that age. But, I was always very determined, knowing what I wanted.
I knew that I had to be disciplined and work extremely hard for the things that I wanted to achieve because if you are going to have both, you are not gonna be as successful. I have had to let many things out of my life from a young age, but I was happy to do that because I'm doing what I love every day.
I think my game is most suitable for Madrid and Rome when we speak about clay events. Here in Madrid, the altitude helps my serve be even more efficient, and I have had many good victories here in Madrid and Rome, winning the title and reaching another final a year later.
I hope I can adjust my tennis to any conditions, especially to the ones in Paris, the clay event where I still have to improve my game the most," Alexander Zverev said.