After the month-long Corona break, the tennis professionals in New York are starting to play again. Many players skip the trip to the USA because of the current situation, not Alexander Zverev. The world number seven wants to play at the US Open – and has now commented on the past few months for the first time. Participation in the Adriatic Tour and a celebration on the Côte d’Azur was not right, but the criticism was justified. “I made a huge mistake and of course I can understand people,” said Zverev in New York.
He did not put anyone in danger except himself and had tested negative for the corona virus seven times, said Zverev. “But of course it wasn’t the smartest thing in the world.”
In June, Zverev had a negative impact on the Adria tour organized by Novak Djokovic, together with the world number one and other professionals because of party videos and disregarding hygiene recommendations. When he should have been in voluntary quarantine, a party video showed him on the Internet. Zverev then decided to cancel an invitation tournament in Berlin at short notice.
“After the Adria Tour, my management said: Better stay home,” said Zverev. “Sure, I was negative. I was tested negative seven times after the Adria Tour, which I can prove. But there were also a few spectators in Berlin and I just didn’t want to take the risk again.”
Four double faults in a row against Murray
Zverev is not yet in sporty terms. At the dress rehearsal before the US Open, the 23-year-old lost his opening match against former world number one Andy Murray 3: 6, 6: 3, 5: 7. At the Western & Southern Open in New York, Zverev has not yet been looked after by his new trainer David Ferrer.
In the coming days, Zverev will have to deal in particular with his serve. He scored ten aces in his first official game on the ATP tour since the Corona break, but he also made eleven double mistakes and, as in the months before the break, had difficulties with his second serve. This led to problems, especially towards the end of the match, when he produced four double faults in a row and Murray was able to convert a 4-5 deficit with two breaks into victory.
The tennis event, endowed with a total of 4.67 million dollars (almost 4 million euros), had been moved from Cincinnati to New York due to the coronavirus pandemic. The US Open will also begin at the Flushing Meadows facility at the end of the month. The events for women and men are held under strict hygiene and safety rules and without spectators.