Alexander Zverev's Australian campaign had a bittersweet flavor. The German offered a solid performance in the second edition of the ATP Cup, having helped the national team reach the semi-finals after knocking out Serbia.
At the Australian Open, Sascha was unable to get beyond the quarter-finals, losing a comeback to world number 1 Novak Djokovic. While honoring his seventh-seeded status, it was reasonable to expect something more from the 2018 ATP Finals winner.
Zverev went one break ahead in three of the four sets played with Nole, but he always lacked the flicker despite the his opponent was not in top form (due to an abdominal injury). In the course of an interview with Eurosport, the young Teutonic admitted that he considered his trip Down Under disappointing.
The 23-year-old from Hamburg, who reached his first Grand Slam final at the 2020 US Open, has won just three titles in the past two seasons, none of which are higher than an ATP 250. He also talked about Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Zverev on facing the Big 3
"I thought I showed very good tennis, but somewhere it was also a disappointing trip for me," Alexander Zverev said in an interview with Eurosport. "In my career now, I am where I no longer want to play nice tournaments or nice matches against Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, but I want to win.
Unfortunately, I didn't do that here. (The trip showed) that I can play with the best and also win against the best," Zverev added. "So I take a lot of positive things with me. But all in all it was disappointing that I was out in the quarter-finals, even though it was against the No.
1 in the world." Zverev referred to Kerber's success while expressing hope that the rest of the German players continue to do well on the global stage. "(I would like to) make tennis more popular in Germany," Alexander Zverev said.
"Angelique Kerber has done a lot with her Grand Slam victories in recent years. And I hope that the German boys will do something too. (I hope) that I will always go far in the Grand Slams," he added. "But others like (Jan-Lennard) Struff and our doubles boys, Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies, who have already won two Grand Slams, also have a lot to do with it."
Novak Djokovic first climbed to the top of the ATP rankings on July 4th, 2011, and has managed to stay on top ever since. The 33-year-old has been vastly dominant in defending his throne at the top of the rankings chart, and he is well on course to overtake Roger Federer in a major stat!