Off at US Open: Next injury: Body lets Zverev “down”

Off at US Open: Next injury: Body lets Zverev “down”

In the quarterfinals of the US Open against Carlos Alcaraz, Alexander Zverev has no chance. Again, an injury slows him down. The Davis Cup participation wobbles. But he immediately formulates big goals again.

Alexander Zverev spoke frustrated about the next failed attempt for his big Grand Slam dream and asked himself fundamental questions after the renewed injury. In the clear defeat against world number one Carlos Alcaraz, the thigh went on strike in the quarterfinals of the US Open, as it had three months earlier in Paris.

“My body is letting me down a bit at the moment. I have to see what’s going on,” said Zverev helplessly shortly after midnight. “Before, I never had muscle injuries, never any problems with my body. Now I always have something.”

After 2:30 hours, the Olympic tennis champion in New York lost 3:6, 2:6, 4:6 to the 20-year-old defending champion from Spain. In the second set, Zverev suffered the injury in the left rear thigh and largely had no chance.

So the Hamburg player has to wait for his first triumph in one of the four major tournaments. “It wasn’t realistic this year,” he admitted in view of his return after a serious ankle injury at the French Open last year – and immediately formulated great ambitions again: “Next year I want to win a Grand Slam, I want to be number 1 in the world. “

After US Open again in the top ten in the world

How realistic are these goals? In the comeback season, as in the epic round of 16 victory against Jannik Sinner in more than four and a half hours, Zverev at least repeatedly hinted at his former top potential, with which he stormed to second place in the world rankings in 2022. But in training before the defeat in the semifinals of the French Open against the Norwegian Casper Ruud in mid-June, he had suffered a slight strain in his thigh. “At the end of the day that’s the sad thing,” said Zverev. “My tennis is there. If my tennis wasn’t there, I wouldn’t have won against Sinner.”

After the US Open, Zverev will be among the top ten in the world for the first time in a good ten months, also due to good results such as winning the tournament in his home town of Hamburg. This increases the chances of not meeting top professionals like Sinner in the early rounds and going into the big games more relaxed.

“He played a great tournament, got in good shape. The match against Sinner has been the match of the tournament for me so far,” praised tennis legend Boris Becker as an expert on “Sportdeutschland.TV” Zverev after the end. “He’s back, he’s back among the best in the world, back in the top ten. He can build on these stones.”

The ATP Finals of the best eight of the year in Turin in mid-November are also within reach – should the injury not prevent further deployments in the coming weeks. “I have a bump there,” reported Zverev in shorts. “Usually when you have a bump, it indicates you have a tear.” An examination at home after the return flight should provide information about the extent of the injury.

Davis Cup use questionable

Then it will also be clear whether Zverev can lead the German team in the Davis Cup relegation on September 16th and 17th in Bosnia-Herzegovina as planned. “I’m in the team, I want to play and I’ll try to play too,” said Zverev in Arthur Ashe Stadium’s largest interview room. “It now depends on what my body says.”

At the beginning of the game against Alcaraz, Zverev seemed physically fully there. Even after he missed two breakballs against Alcaraz in the first set, he fought for three more chances in the third round – but left them all unused. The difference: Alcaraz used all four of his chances to take the serve from the opponent.

In the meantime, father and trainer Alexander Zverev senior called out to his son from the stands that he could give up too. “But I only stop when I’m on the ground like in Paris,” said Zverev defiantly.

“Obviously he had physical problems in the third set,” reported the two-time Grand Slam winner Alcaraz and raved about Zverev long after he had disappeared into the dressing room. “He worked so hard to come back. We enjoy his game. We’re very, very happy to have him back.”

Source: Stern

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