PARIS, June 3, 2022: A cry wails over Court Philippe Chatrier at the French Open. Alexander Zverev (25) sprained his ankle against Rafael Nadal (36) in the semifinals. The end of seven months. He is now in the process of making his Grand Slam comeback in Australia.
Sunday photo: They said two weeks after their injury at BamS that they would only come back if they could win trophies and not just if they were fit. They have lost twice clearly in the FA Cup. Why are you still in Melbourne?
Alexander Zverev: Because it’s different if you’ve been out for three months or seven. At that time, it wasn’t expected that it would take so long. I need games to find shape now. I’m healthy, but I’m not getting in here after this long and winning the Australian Open.
Sunday photo: When can you win trophies again?
It is clear that I will not win the Australian Open in the current situation. But that doesn’t mean I can’t find my level after a game or two. Then self-confidence increases and then – let’s see.
Sunday photo: Did it start early after a ligament tear?
Zverev: it’s complicated. All three ligaments have been reported to be torn. But there were seven of them, three of whom had surgery. After seven weeks, everything was healed, but I had bone edema (fluid buildup in the bone marrow; ed.) that did not heal properly. But this was not communicated to me, so from today’s perspective I started rehab and training too early, which made my edema worse.
Sunday photo: … you missed the Davis Cup in September in Hamburg.
Zverev: I agree. Before the Davis Cup, I had a sore Achilles tendon. But this was not the case, there were microfractures in the bones, as shown by MRI. That’s it after that.
Sunday photo: Her brother Mischa said you play 50 to 60 sets before a Grand Slam. I just got ten. How far did you catch up?
Zverev: I played at least two or three sets here every day, although the training is very different from the match. I’ve trained with Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Stan Wawrinka. This made the process go faster.
Sunday photo: Speaking of Nadal, how was the first meeting with him after the accident?
Zverev: It was in Sydney and very enjoyable. He said he was so glad I was back and able to participate fully. We have a great relationship made even better by injury.
Sunday photo: They also trained with Dirk Nowitzki. Who calls to whom and asks: “Do you have time?”
Zverev: He wrote to me and I booked the place. We’ve known each other since 2015 when I played in Dallas and Watch. We exchanged numbers and over time we did some media stuff together.
Sunday photo: Can you tell he used to be a decent tennis player when he was young?
Zverev (laughs): You can especially see it in your children. They are six and seven years old and have real talent. They have very good technique, they move great, they are really good. I hope they don’t reach 2.20m, then it will be difficult. But even two meters can be a thing with tennis.
Sunday photo: Your friend Sophia Thomalla has been with you for weeks in Dubai, now in Australia. How important is that to you?
Zverev: I really did a lot here: fitness training, tennis, and worked a lot with my team. Sofia and I sometimes don’t see each other all day. I leave at 8 am and return at 10 pm. She totally understands that and knows what I need to do well here and be the best I can be in my job. It is very useful there.
Sunday photo: Does she stay until the end of the tournament or does she have to go?
Zverev: She doesn’t have to go. But I hope to stay till the end. (Laughs)
Sunday photo: Novak Djokovic, who was not vaccinated a year ago, was enthusiastically received here. what do you think?
Zverev: For the Australian Open, tennis and sports in general, it is very important that the best are there. I can’t say how Australians feel about themselves. But it makes the tournament a better class.