Alexander Zverev certainly looks back on this May day with mixed feelings.
Madrid is one of his favorite leagues. He has already won the Masters competition twice. The height and massive bounce of the balls on serve makes it even more difficult for Zverev’s opponents at Caja Mágica than it already was.
A few weeks later, Zverev played down that match at the French Open, saying that at that point he was only briefly pain-free and wasn’t where he needed to be to be able to make a match for Alcaraz.
Overall frame conditions have improved greatly since then. However, the physical and regenerative conditions in this second week of the Grand Slam speak volumes for Alcaraz.
Zverev: “I’m back physically”
Zverev also rated the general context for this performance, which marked only his second victory over a top 10 player in a Grand Slam. “It shows a bit that I’m back physically. I’m in the quarter-finals and I want to prepare.”
Press conference in fast forward
Zverev did not issue more sentences to reporters. After nearly five hours on Center Court and some extra time for his first refresher with his team after such an exciting match, Zverev dragged himself in the middle of the night to the scheduled press tour, which was convened by the ATP Press Spokesman in just five hours. Minutes – Interest in English and German.
Zverev: “I had to change my shoes three times”
Although it did not rain, Alcaraz – unlike Zverev at night – played under a closed roof. The hamburger insisted on mentioning it. “Today was the hottest day in the tournament,” he said, without laughing a bit, “and in the afternoon they played with the roof closed. That was a small advantage.” It was the heat, but above all the extreme humidity, that “killed us both,” as he said of Sener and himself.
“I am a person who does not sweat a lot. Today I had to change my clothes twice and my shoes up to three times,” Zverev explained when asked. The sinner is crammed into the third group. “Then all of a sudden in the fourth set I was completely exhausted,” Zverev admitted.
For this reason Zverev had to work longer than was comfortable for him and more than was necessary to create the same conditions against Alcaraz. According to his team, Zverev did not go to sleep before five o’clock on Tuesday morning local time. Accordingly, Free Wednesday was difficult in terms of rhythm. Zverev is still training. He needs training, as he recently admitted on a podcast with Tony and Felix Cros. Otherwise, his body would stop completely.
Zverev’s plan: ban two special matches
Despite the negatives, Zverev also spoke in a combative tone. “Before the tournament everyone was waiting for two matches: Alcaraz vs. Novak (Djokovic) in the final and Alcaraz vs. Sinner in the quarter-finals. Maybe I can be sure that neither will happen,” he said.
When asked if there was still anything possible against Alcaraz with this setup, Zverev finally answered, a little annoyed: “Yes, it is.” Then he went to a physiotherapist for treatment.
Zverev still weak against Alcaraz, but…
Regardless of the outcome of Monday’s match, Zverev will once again be among the top ten in the world rankings. A win against Alcaraz would be their first top-five win in any of the four Grand Slams. Zverev remains hilarious, but also distinctly odd due to the conditions of the regenerative framework.
But it certainly won’t be as clear as it is in Madrid. Zverev has worked hard to become competitive.
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