Fortune smiles at Alexander Zverev after brutally honest statement on Carlos Alcaraz

Zverev got candid about Alcaraz destroying him in some of their past meetings before learning he would not meet the Spaniard in Miami after all.

by Dzevad Mesic
Fortune smiles at Alexander Zverev after brutally honest statement on Carlos Alcaraz
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Alexander Zverev kept it straight honest when asked about his "good" head-to-head with Carlos Alcaraz as the German tennis star said all of his wins over the Spaniard were tight while all of his losses in the matchup were an absolute beatdown. 

On Thursday, world No. 5 Zverev overcame 57th-ranked Fabian Marozsan 6-3 7-5 to reach the Miami Masters semifinal. Later that evening, Zverev was supposed to learn his Miami semifinal opponent after the Alcaraz and Grigor Dimitrov match. 

In his presser, Zverev was asked about the fact that he has a 5-4 head-to-head against Alcaraz. The 26-year-old German was quick to downplay the significance of it, highlighting that he was absolutely hammered in all of his four losses against the current world No. 2 and that he didn't stand any chance in those meetings.

Most recently, Alcaraz destroyed Zverev 6-3 6-1 in the Indian Wells Masters quarterfinal and his past wins over the German also include a 6-3 6-1 win in the 2022 Madrid Masters final and a 6-1 6-2 win in 2023 Madrid. 

When it comes to Zverev's wins over Alcaraz, his recent wins over Alcaraz include a 6-7 (3) 6-3 6-4 win at the 2023 ATP Finals and a 6-1 6-3 6-7 (2) 6-4 win at this year's Australian Open.

"Well, actually the matches that I won, they were tough battles at times, you know, and great-level tennis. The matches that he won against me, he absolutely destroyed me," Zverev said.

"So, you know, it's sometimes that. I think sometimes we play at the later stages of the tournaments where we're both playing extremely well already, and it's kind of like back-and-forth and I came out on top a few times.

"You know, he beat me twice in Madrid where I had absolutely no chance. He beat me in Indian Wells where I had no chance. He beat me at the US Open where I had no chance."

Alexander Zverev and Carlos Alcaraz
Alexander Zverev and Carlos Alcaraz© Getty Images Sport - Cameron Spencer

Fortune then smiles at Zverev, who avoids Alcaraz

When Zverev sealed a Miami semifinal ticket, the general belief and expectation was that he would be facing Alcaraz next because the two-time Grand Slam champion entered the Dimitrov match as the heavy favorite. But Alcaraz didn't get the job done as Dimitrov upset the second-seeded Spaniard 6-2 6-4 to reach the semifinal. 

With that being said, Zverev avoided facing Alcaraz for the second time during this Sunshine Double. But in his press conference, Zverev already previewed his potential semifinal versus Alcaraz.

"So I know that I have to play my best tennis to even go into this kind of fight, go into this battle with him. Because if you're not feeling the ball or if you're feeling like you're put under pressure from the beginning, most of the time it's been a very quick match," Zverev added.

"But I don't know. I mean, I think we're both aggressive players, I think especially at later stages of the tournaments. At the beginning of tournaments, I'm always maybe a little bit holding back, maybe a slow starter to tournaments. But I think the stages where we are playing at, semifinals, quarterfinals of Grand Slams and big events, to get there you have to play well.

"That is maybe more of a factor than just what fits well in the matchup. But as I said, against Carlos, you have to play well, otherwise you're going to get blown off the court."

Alexander Zverev
Alexander Zverev© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Zverev owns a dominant head-to-head against Dimitrov

When Zverev and 32-year-old Dimitrov meet in Miami on Friday, it will be the ninth time that they are squaring off against each other. Heading into the match, former world No. 2 Zverev owns a pretty dominant head-to-against Dimitrov, beating the former world No. 3 seven times in their past eight meetings. 

While Dimitrov is playing well and coming off very strong back-to-back wins over Hubert Hurkacz and Alcaraz, Zverev has also been outstanding and he will still enter the match as the slight favorite. 

Also, Zverev is no stranger to making deep results in Miami as in 2018 he made the final at the tournament before losing to John Isner. On the other side, this is just the first year that 32-year-old Dimitrov has been able to make it past the round-of-16 stage in Miami. 

Last year, Zverev and Dimitrov twice met on the hard courts in the United States. On both occasions, Zverev was the one finishing on the winning side, having beaten Dimitrov 6-2 6-2 at the Cincinnati Masters and having earned a 6-7 (2) 7-6 (8) 6-1 6-1 win at the US Open. 

Alexander Zverev and Grigor Dimitrov
Alexander Zverev and Grigor Dimitrov© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

It remains to be seen if Zverev can clinch his eighth win over Dimitrov and make his second Miami final.

Alexander Zverev Carlos Alcaraz