The last Grand Slam tournament of the year is over for Alexander Zverev: Against the South Tyrolean Jannik Sinner, Hamburg had no chance. After the game, the best German spoke about the reasons for his end.
Alexander Zverev’s limbs hurt, his head was buzzing. “I am completely ill, can hardly breathe and had a temperature of 38 degrees,” said the best German tennis player with a husky voice shortly after his dream of the first Grand Slam title in Paris had once again burst. Zverev kept coughing behind his mask at the virtual press conference.
Zverev: “Don’t have the right symptoms of Corona”
Of course, he will now be tested again for Corona, announced the world number seven, so far the tests carried out regularly have been negative. The last one was apparently carried out on September 29, another was still due on Sunday, this was reported by a journalist for the New York Times with reference to the organizing French tennis association FFT. “I think it’s more the weather here. I don’t have the correct symptoms of Corona,” said Zverev: “I really hope it’s not.”
Shortly before, without his usual power, he hardly had a chance against the 19-year-old Italian shooting star Jannik Sinner and missed his third place in the quarter-finals of the French Open with a 3: 6, 3: 6, 6: 4, 3: 6 defeat. “Maybe I shouldn’t have played,” said Zverev: “But somehow I was hoping for a three-set win.”
Duel against Nadal is canceled
His strong major season with the finals at the US Open and the semi-finals at the Australian Open ended in disappointment. Overall, he is definitely on the right track, said Zverev. But he had hoped for more for Paris, he wanted to get as close as possible to the coronation at one of the four most important tennis events and challenge record champion Nadal in the round of the last eight. Sinner will do that now.
The South Tyrolean is the first French Open debutant since Nadal in 2005 to reach the round of the last eight. Daniel Altmaier (Kempen) can do the same on Monday, Laura Siegemund is also still in the race for the German Tennis Association (DTB). The double defending champions Kevin Krawietz / Andreas Mies have already reached the quarter-finals.
Zverev’s lack of freshness at the start of the match was noted, he quickly sought contact with the doctors and received a nasal spray. It was difficult for him to keep up with Sinner, whom he already regards as one of the best players in the world “from the start. “With every long rally I felt a burning sensation in my chest,” said Zverev, who, according to his own statements, could have been infected with his physio Hugo Gravil, who was also sick.
Sinner, whom Zverev knows well from several joint training sessions, marched into the round of 16 without losing a set and dominated the game with his powerful baseline hits. “Zverev has to play his best match today,” said Becker at Eurosport: “This is not for weak bodies and soft nerves.” Zverev got his chances despite a weak body, but could not use them. In frustration, he slammed his bat on the floor.
Sinner, still 75th in the world rankings with a clear upward trend, impressed with his force, but did not continue to play flawlessly. Zverev had to fight hard for almost every point, he often lacked the killer instinct in the rallies. And he was visibly pumping. Zverev did not give up, fought doggedly and used Sinner’s weak phase at the end of the third set. But then Sinner switched up again and deservedly prevailed.
Altmaier wants to follow suit on Monday, who confidently goes into a duel with Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta (no. 17) after the three-set win against number seven seeded Italian Matteo Berrettini. “That was just the beginning,” said Altmaier. Siegemund also expects good chances after the coup against Petra Martic (Croatia / No. 13) against Paula Badosa Gilbert (Spain).