Zverev: 'Roger Federer is the biggest athlete ever, an amazing person'

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Zverev: 'Roger Federer is the biggest athlete ever, an amazing person'

Alexander Zverev is playing at the Swiss Indoors in Basel for the second time in his career after 2014 and he could face the local hero Roger Federer in an eventual final on Sunday. In press conference the 21-year-old German said his relationship with Federer 'is incredibly close', Zverev admitted.

'We spend much time together off the court and really like to talk with each other. It's not just about tennis but life in general. We all know Roger Federer as tennis legend, as biggest athlete of all time. Adding to this he is truly a wonderful human being.

I know Switzerland a lot thank to him. I never played against him in Basel, I hope we can change it this week.' Why does Zverev get so much criticism in his country despite his great early success? 'It has to do with the fact that we had unbelievable tennis players in Germany.

Boris Becker won a lot. Steffi Graf won everything. That's why in Germany you look more at Grand Slams and world No. 1. You quickly forget that I am just 21 years old and I have still a lot ahead of me.' Zverev also looks forward to play Basel: 'It's an unbelievably strong tournament.

You have to face every match being fully focused. The opening round against Robin Haase is not easy. I lost to him in Cincinnati three months ago. I want to stay in Basel for a while.' ALSO READ: 'Roger Federer should never play on clay again' - Andy Roddick