Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

February 19- March 4, 2023
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 19- March 4, 2023
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
March 2, 2023

Alexander Zverev – Press Conference

2023 Men's Singles Quarterfinals: A. ZVEREV/J. Lehecka 4-6, 6-3, 6-4

Alexander Zverev

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Sascha, please.

Q. Tell us how the match went for you. What were your thoughts on it?

ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Great. I won (smiling).

To be honest, I mean, I’m starting to play decent tennis, which is nice after nine months. I’m happy about that. I’m happy with how the match went. I’m also happy how I handled the pressure situations.

So all in all I think there’s a lot of positives to take from that.

Q. From Roland Garros last year to now, obviously at that point you were No. 2, was that the highest you ever felt tennis-wise? Compared to that, where do you feel right now?

ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I think 2021, the last six months of the season, was one of the best tennis that I ever played. I lost three or four matches I think in six months. Yeah, that was a special time for me in a way.

But last year during the French Open was the first time in my life where I went into matches, I went into the Alcaraz match, the Nadal match as well, and I thought I can win the French Open and I’m going to win the French Open. Obviously I didn’t. Not only did I not win, I basically broke everything that I can in my ankle. So it was, yeah, a tough period.

But after an injury like that, I’m happy where I’m standing right now. I’m getting back. I’m playing some decent tennis this week. Hopefully this will continue.

Q. After such a bad injury and a long absence, obviously you needed time and patience. I’m wondering if you set a time in your mind to play your best tennis again?

ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I mean, I don’t think I’m playing bad now, so… I’m in the semifinals of Dubai. We got to kind of respect that in a way, as well.

This tournament has five top-10 players, I don’t know how many top-20 players. The cut for the draw is about 25 in the world I feel like. There’s no bad players here. I mean, it’s tough to say.

Even when I was at my best, I had matches where I was playing 10 times worse than I’m playing now. I mean, I’m not sure how I should answer that question because right now I am happy with how I play. Right now I’m happy with how I feel on the court. That’s the most important for me.

Q. You’ve been for a long period injured. Could you talk about how you did with the situation, then getting positive action like today?

ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yeah, I answered this question a lot of times before.

I was able to accept my injury because it happened during the French Open on a tennis court while I was trying to kind of chase my dreams. If it would have happened skateboarding or snowboarding, something like that, it would have been tougher for me to accept. In this way I was doing what I love, playing one of the best players in the world – the best player in the world on that court. It was okay for me to accept.

Of course, it was not nice. I didn’t want it to happen. I wish it would have never happened, but it was the way it was. I had to move on. I had to kind of get ready, get fit, do everything I can to be pain-free.

Q. That was a very mature thing that you just said. Did you have to learn to feel that way, to accept something like that?

ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I mean, it’s an instinct, right? It’s how you feel inside. That’s how I felt inside, to be honest. I have to say I also had great people around me at that time. I was at home. I was with friends for a long period of time. I was doing other things that maybe a normal person would do for six months. I never had that.

In that way I was trying to still keep myself busy. I was still going to the gym two times a day. I was still working out, still trying to improve the things that I can, even with a cast on kind of, so…

I mean, there is no way to rush it. There is no way to kind of make the time go faster. I just had to accept it.

Q. Lots of fans and experts were thinking at Roland Garros you were very close to downing Rafa. Do you feel like you want this challenge back? Do you feel like you want a rematch, or you just want to be at Roland Garros at your top 100%?

ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Guys, we’re in Dubai. Let’s focus on Dubai because I’m in the semifinals of a big tournament. We are in February. Roland Garros is end of May. There’s still very big tournaments ahead. Right now I’m not really thinking about Roland Garros. It’s not my thought process.

I’m playing the semifinals of Dubai tomorrow either against world No. 5 in Rublev or a very in-form Dutchman tomorrow. Right now my mind, that’s what is in my head, not how I will play in Roland Garros.

Q. What was the most interesting thing in the Museum of the Future that you visited?

ALEXANDER ZVEREV: The recreation of the DNA of the animals and the plants that we’re unfortunately destroying. That was for me the most interesting. I think more interesting than robots and dogs that can be with a battery, to be honest.

I prefer to see us humans using science, what we know, in a positive way for the world and for our future, nature as well, than recreating robots, to be honest.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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