The clay court season began as an innocent wild card acceptance on Alexander Zverev's part into the Marrakech tournament. He wanted to get more practice before the Monte Carlo season swung into full gear but his luck had become tarnished so far this season.
He was defeated by Spain's Jaume Munar at the round of 16 in Morocco 7-6, 2-6, 6-3. It was a combination knockout of Munar playing well and Zverev becoming disorganized with strategy and a build up of unforced errors. The no.
3 ranked Zverev has also taken a hit by falling to players over the 60s rankings and beyond, which can be not only embarrassing but frustrating. The round with Munar did take at least three sets, but Zverev didn't have the comeback power to win the deciding set and the match.
The beginning of the season in January didn't start out so well for Alexander Zverev. He had strained his hamstrong while training hours before the scheduled match and had to withdraw from the World Tennis Challenge, an exhibition in Adelaide, Australia.
Later he was in a practice match against Marc Polmans when he fell appearing to have rolled his ankle. He tried to continue but ended the match a few points later. Zverev was able to play at the Australian Open making it to the quarterfinals defeating Aljaz Bedene, Jeremy Chardy in 5 grueling sets and Alex Bolt to meet up with Milos Raonic at the round of 16.
He was able to disperse of his opponents' games until it came to Raonic. "I played bad. The first two sets I played horrible...I didn't serve well, I didn't play well from the baseline," Zverev had said on playing the Raonic.
The Canadian was at the top of his game and defeated Zverev in three straight sets. Here is where the young German's luck slowly went downhill. He did make the finals of the Mexican Open and was convinced he was on a roll until he lost to Nick Kyrgios in straight sets.
It was at Indian Wells second round he experienced a loss to Jan-Lennard Struff. Shaking his head in disbelief he continued on tour to the Miami Open to meet up with the veteran Spaniard David Ferrer. There wasn't a win in Zverev's column there either for he lost the opener in three sets, still looking at his inability to close out the deciding set.
He remained hopeful that this unfortunate streak of bad luck would change as he entered the Grand Prix Hassan at Marrakech. Spain's Jaume Munar, a 60th ranked upcoming NextGen guy shouldn't have phased Zverev but as the match start off and Munar quickly led 4-1, might have caused Zverev's hope to slightly crack on defeating the Spaniard.
It would be on a good day Zverev would have smoothly won the match in grand style. Munar had lead in the first set but a strong Zverev forehand return landed in the alley. The rallies were intense as the German seems to have gotten his tactics together with passing shots and forced the set into a tiebreak.
Munar kept the pressure steaming and won the tiebreak not hardly breaking a sweat. It was his dropshots that stung Zverev more than once, but the German corrected his mistakes on the second set and seems to be coming into he perfected form, winning on down-the-lines and pushing the Spaniard back to come in for winners.
He won the second set 6-2 with precision hitting but the third set was the charm not for Zverev but Munar. Despite Zverev's keeping pace with Munar in rallies, the final blast was nearly always from Munar's racket. The unforced errors started clocking up on Zverev to help in his defeat 6-7, 6-2, 3-6.
What can be done now is for Alexander Zverev to go back and re-evaluate his strategies and gain mental strength on vital points which had been lacking. It is with hopes that he can regain his status and skill on being consistent and maintaining victories again.