Do you remember May 2018? That famous two weeks run by Alexander Zverev. Now it seems, the course of his game is repeating. Just look at the timeline written below.
May 2018 – High Hopes
May 13, Mutua Madrid Open Finals, Zverev defeats Thiem 6-4 6-4. A week later, May 20, Roma, another ATP Masters 100 Finals, Zverev narrowly defeated by “The King of Clay” Nadal 1-6 6-1 3-6. How many of us guessed Alexander Zverev will win at least one Grand Slam this year. I do not but was pretty close to it. I expected a deep run at Roland Garros courts and then everything could be possible in the coming months.
We are now in mid-August, one week before US Open in New York and Alexander Zverev looks weak and without self-confidence. He is a far away from those special performances, he showed during May 2018.
Tennis Column is irregular and biased opinion column written by Tennis Pro Guru about everything tennis related.
Jun 2018 – Lost Hopes
It started in Paris, where he, visibly injured, lost with Dominic Thiem in quarterfinals in rather humbling way 4-6 2-6 1-6. Grass season was a clear catastrophe. First round loss at Gerry Weber Open with Coric was followed with the third-round loss in Wimbledon. Five sets match with Gulbis finished with the bagel. (6-7 6-4 7-5 3-6 0-6).
Start of the August 2018 – High Hopes
Start of the hard-court season looked much better and let him dream about the special second half of 2018. The absolutely dominant win in August at Citi Open, Washington in Finals against de Minaur reminded all of us how great Zverev can be. He lost just one set during the tournament (against Nishikori) and although he played just with players outside top twenty, he looked unbeatable.
Mid-August 2018 – Lost Hopes again?
But the story starts to remind the June and July too much. Next two ATP Masters 1000 tournaments ended too soon for Sascha. Firstly, he lost in the quarterfinals match in Toronto with Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3 6-7 4-6. Then in Cincinnati Zverev lost with Haase 7-5 4-6 5-7.
And the problem is in his head
Both losses were heart-breaking for Zverev fans. It was a mix of inconsistency, nervousness, and lack of focus. We should not have high criteria for 21 years old player, but the way he losses matches makes me feel extremely sad. He lost his focus just at the most important moments and he looked resigned. He lost his will to fight that battle, although both matches were winnable. And that is just unacceptable.
I hope that he will gain his confidence with a week and half rest before US Open and he tries to refocus again. Alexander Zverev has a potential to be a number one in coming years. So please, do not waste this potential. The best players are able to win matches when they are not playing their best tennis. Alexander Zverev is able to lost matches when playing his best tennis now. Hope it will change soon.
Edit: Alexander Zverev just announced he will cooperate with Ivan Lendl. We do not know the terms of cooperation if it is just for the upcoming US Open or it will be for a longer time. However, it is a good news regarding the problem we discussed above. Ivan Lendl can help to solve this, and that is another reason to watch and enjoy US Open and Alexander Zverev.