Alexander Zverev entered 2019 after winning the season's championship in London. He enters French open in Paris and has only won six games during the last eight tournaments.
The soon-to-be former No. 5, whose ranking was as high as No. 3 in January, lost to Matteo Berrettini on Tuesday at Rome Champions 7-5, 7-5. This was a tough opening tournament for Zverev; It cannot be denied. An Italian opponent placed in the Top 40 is a difficult task for anyone at Foro Italico.
But Zverev has lost the benefits of the doubt, along with a host of battles he has expected to win in what has been a very disappointing season. The defense in Rome finalist points from 2018, Zverev will take a nose dive in the rankings.
More to come at Zverev, from Steve Tignor, later today.