(sid / dpa). Of course, Alexander Zverev is still haunted by the scenes. The way Boris Baker stared in disbelief when he hit his racket seven times on the hard court. The German top player had reached a low point in the ATP Cup a year ago with a rowdy demeanor and destructive performance, marking an important turning point in the past.
“It can’t be much worse than it was last year,” the 23-year-old said before the start of the second edition of the team competition. “I just hope I can do better for myself and my team.” And the matter will not end again after the group stage.
Zverev was heavily criticized in early 2020 after three partially devastating defeats, and Baker saw the hamburger “trapped in a dark room”. Clear words were clearly well received, and since then the talented giant has been able to better keep calm in difficult playing situations. This was followed by the semi-finals at the Australian Open and the final at the US Open, which he had just lost to Dominic Thiem. Zverev said now: “I want to start over.”
All in all, it has been a tumultuous year with many titles away from midfield, and a split from coach David Ferrer being the primary end point. However, there are many indications that the Australian public will not see “The Bad Alexander” again at the start of the season.
Zverev is not only close to his brother Misha by his side as the head of the team. After his collaboration with Team8 ends, the 33-year-old also takes on youth management duties and is an important liaison and coaching partner. “Above all, I hope we can have a good time together as a team and win some matches,” Misha Zverev said.
The match against Alexander Zverev, Jan Lennard Struve and French Open champion Kevin Kreewitz / Andreas Mies starts Wednesday night (midnight / ServusTV and Sky) against Canada. For Zverev, this means a duel with Denis Shapovalov, another shooting star on the scene. A day later, a meeting with Serbia and superstar Novak Djokovic ensued. Winning two matches is enough to win.
Baker won’t be in Australia this time, but not because the relationship between the two German tennis stars struggled to emerge in Brisbane a year ago. As a Eurosport expert from Munich, the German idol will be analyzing the Australian Open from February 8th.
Off to Petkovic
Meanwhile, Laura Siegemund is successfully starting the new season. The DFB Cup player won Monday in Melbourne as part of preparations for the Australian Open 7: 5, 6: 4 against Romanian Monica Nikulescu and advanced to the second round of the Gippsland Cup. The competitor there is Australian Destanee Aiava. On the other hand, Andrea Petkovic lost in the second round of the Gippsland Cup with a score of 1: 6, 4: 6 against world number five Jelina Soetolina of Ukraine. The finish also came for Dominic Kupfer in the first round of the ATP Tournament. The previous US Open round lost in the Round of 16 7: 5, 4: 6, 1: 6 against Australian Christopher O’Connell at the Great Ocean Road Open.