Alexander Zverev never kept secret his admiration for Roger Federer, who 'has always been my idol', the 20-year-old German player told Sky Sport. It's the Swiss' character and relationship with others what surprises Zverev the most: 'He is always fantastic and respectful with everyone.
He always tries to help us, I listen to his suggestions. He helped me at the beginning of my career and I think it's like this for all the younger players. Did his come back surprise me? No it didn't, there weren't doubts that he could come back because he never left but just took a break.
Of course no one thought he could win the three most important titles of the year, but he is Roger. He is phenomenal and keeps writing tennis history.' Germany has many expectations on Zverev, who won his first Masters 1000 title in Rome last month.
About the hopes his country has on him, Zverev explained: 'Tennis in Germany never had a low level, we had Boris Becker, Michael Stich, Steffi Graf, and so that's why many people expected to have Grand Slam winners.
It's great to be supported by these champions, Stich (Hamburg tournament director) offered me some wild cards helping me a lot.' Speaking about the most beautiful matches in his career, the Hamburg native added: 'I enjoyed a lot the two matches I won against Federer in Halle and Hopman Cup.
The match against Wawrinka in St. Petersburg was fantastic as well as the one against Nadal at the Australian Open. Nadal reached the final so he was playing very well.' On his fighting spirit, Zverev stressed how 'you can't play sports without fighting.
To go out there and try to win is very important regardless of the opponent and score. I think it's a very difficult thing to understand for younger players, but for me it's not difficult because I always knew why I train and compete.' Next Generation players have a lot of pressure and are promoted a lot: 'I think the pressure comes from media that always try to find the next Djokovic or Federer, but you can't find these champions by the road.
They worked the whole life to be what they became, and we will try to do the same. There are many guys who are playing a great tennis: Kyrgios is playing well and is serious enough, Thiem improved a lot in the last three years.
We will see who will be the strongest player between us.' ALSO READ: Roger Federer: 'In Africa, even having something to eat is very important'