Tennis in Munich: Zverev seeks ‘German feel’

sTennis professional Alexander Zverev prefers not to take off his glowing “Germany” jersey in Munich. It reminds him of winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics last year. After the best season of his career with a total of six titles, his expectations soared and Zverev announced his first Grand Slam win and No. 1 as goalscorer. Bypassing “bad luck” with injuries and “extreme stress” plans. The turning point will come in Munich.

In the clay court tournament at Iphitos, the 25-year-old is seeking his third title after 2017 and 2018. “I’m here and I have the feeling that a lot can change and I’ll have the best year of my life,” Zverev said. The thigh injury that held him back in the Monte Carlo semi-final appears to have been overcome. “Now this is not a serious injury. I think I will be able to play completely freely here.”

In training at the start of the week, the German struggled in his performance under the eyes of his girlfriend Sofia Tomala and new coach Serge Bruguera. The tarpaulin on the fence felt dissatisfied several times. Only when his dog Lövik rushed onto the field after training did Zverev’s mood improve.

For Zverev, this year’s traditional event is more than his “favorite tournament” in front of a domestic audience. In the round of 16 on Wednesday, the German will meet the Danish youngster Holger Ron. The tournament in Aumeisterweg aims to mark a turning point in a season without a title so far. A season that started “very disappointingly”.

Impulse control is not one of his strengths, even in training.

Photo: dpa

“I started this year with a lot of chances to be number one. It was always in my head. I felt very pressured and not free,” he came in third in the world rankings. Especially at the Australian Open, where it was the last leg of the round of 16, he felt “uncomfortable” – both on the training ground and in the match.

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