In an interview, mental coach Markus Hornig spoke about Alexander Zverev's complicated season. The German player showed some signs of improvements by reaching Shanghai final but then he lost in the Basel opening round. Hornig said: "His attitude doesn't seem right per now.
He doesn't manage to play on a consistent basis for a long time. But that's the key to breakthrough at a world class level. Last year he had nothing to lose heading into the ATP Finals. Now he is the defending champion and everything seems to be different.
Everyone in sports know that it's much easier to win an important title for the first time than defending it." "Tennis is a brutal sport from a mental point of view. You get constantly in the mix with your mistakes.
If you make an error, your opponent wins the point. Also, tennis is technique-wise one of the toughest sports ever. If you do not hit the ball cleanly, you immediately lose quality. Your arm gets heavy and you cannot fullfil your real potential.
Federer was like Zverev at the beginning but then he developed his mental strength, putting the basics for an amazing career. Even Novak Djokovic is a master of mental strength. Look at how the Serb behaved during the Wimbledon final when everybody was cheering on Federer."
Zverev will play his first match on Monday in the evening session against world No. 1 Rafael Nadal. Zverev, Nadal, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev are in the same group, the Andre Agassi group.