Alexander Zverev has enjoyed an amazingly successful year on the ATP World Tour. But if you ask him, he still has plenty left to achieve.
While many players may be starting to fatigue physically and mentally from the rigours of the season, the 20-year-old German, who last week clinched his spot in the Nitto ATP Finals, says he has more in the tank.
“I’m going to go out there, I’m going to try my best, play every match, you know, full and we’ll see how it goes,” Zverev said. “I’m ready for the upcoming events. I’m ready for this one. I’m ready for the next big ones in Europe, and obviously London, as well.”
“I had five days off of doing nothing, and then I did ten days of just physical [training]. I did kind of a mini-offseason, actually,” said Zverev, who lifted weights and completed track sessions. “I didn’t put down the racquet for too long. I would have had five days no matter what I did at the US Open. I just used it for training. I was still home, still enjoying Monaco a little bit. I was still at the sea and that helps mentally, as well.”
That can only be good news for the fourth-ranked player in the Emirates ATP Rankings, Zverev, who is tied for second on tour with Roger Federer at five titles. World No. 1 Rafael Nadal won his sixth last week at the China Open, where Zverev advanced to the semi-finals (l. Kyrgios).
But while Zverev became the youngest player to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals since Juan Martin del Potro in 2008, some will point to his results at the Grand Slams. His best finish was at Wimbledon, where he lost in the Round of 16. Zverev has faced tough competition at every Grand Slam.
“I didn’t lose bad Grand Slam matches, apart from the US Open. US Open I think was bad for me. I think I played bad,” Zverev admitted. “Apart from that, you know, I lost to Rafa five sets in Australia. I lost to Milos [Raonic in] five sets at Wimbledon, who was the finalist the previous year. You know, even in Roland Garros I felt like Fernando Verdasco played a good match against me.”
Those losses do not take away from what Zverev has done in 2017, winning two ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles (Rome and Montreal), with the opportunity for another this week at the Shanghai Rolex Masters, where the right-hander is the third seed.
“I think Shanghai is one of the best Masters that we have,” Zverev said. “I think maybe [it] is the second-best Masters after Indian Wells, even.”
It is an opportunity for Zverev to become the only player on tour to win three Masters 1000 events this year, with an even greater chance looming in London.
“Obviously I’m waiting for the breakthrough. Not waiting; I’m doing a lot of stuff for it. I’m practising, working hard,” Zverev said. “I’m sure it will come. I’m very, very sure about it.”