Alexander Zverev: Why not with Boris Becker?
Alexander Zverev wants to launch another attack on the world's top next year. A tennis legend could help him with that.
London. It was the worst moment to be pounded by the demons of the recent past. Alexander Zverev was 5: 6 back in the first act of the World Cup semi-final against Dominic Thiem, he had a set ball against him, he was preparing for his second serve. And then it happened, what had happened so often in this confusing season.
Zverev's nerves failed, he struck a double fault, hesitantly and hesitantly. The first sentence was lost. And a little later, it was all over, the hope for another surprise coup at the end of the season of the eight best tennis players in the world, the dream of a title defense and a very conciliatory end of series in 2019. "This year was not the best for me," said Zverev after his 5: 7, 3: 6 defeat against Thiem.
Season a roller coaster Zverevs
Zverev's demise at this championship was symbolically charged, as it pretty much reflected a season in which the 22-year-old hamburger was too often bothered with his own problems and was not really a threat to the other elite players. Zverev's ascent and descent continued to the finish line until the World Cup in London O.2-Arena – two wins, two defeats – two strong appearances, two rather mixed ideas.
It was not bitterly disappointing, but it was also not good enough to keep up with the industry's so-called Momentum players, with their brilliantly thrilling end-game rivals Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipa. All in all, the end of the year had been "quite good," Zverev said, and he could build on that for the 2020 season.
However, Zverev has lost ground in recent months in the power game around the tennis summit. Not necessarily because he would have dramatically lost in level. But because the competition has caught up, has gotten better and better – while he, Zverev, has just lost the punch at the so-called "big points". In many tricky situations he missed the grab, the charisma, to prevail against his high-profile opponents.
About Becker has been speculating for some time
The entire set theater in the team Zverev – the arguments with the ex-manager Patricio Apey, the scramble between supercoach Ivan Lendl and coaching father Alexander Zverev senior – struck directly on Zverev's psyche. 385 double errors added the Hamburger until the semifinals against Thiem, until his sad departure from the event palace in the East London. In 2018 it had been only 210, until the triumphal procession in the O2-Arena. Often Zverev produced in the past few months ten and more double errors in individual games, at the Masters in Cincinnati in the summer he narrowly missed the eternal ATP negative record with 20 double errors (23).
After his appearance at the show Laver Cup in the autumn Zverev lived again. But despite a slightly up-beat match balance in the final spurt, the question now remains with which staff the 22-year-old wants to master the no-easier challenges of the coming season. When Lendl left the Zverev team in July, it was only natural to return to the status quo for support from Father Alexander. And now, is the hour for the often-and-beloved cooperation of Zverev and Boris Becker beating?
Zverev and Becker will talk in early 2020
In fact, there would be hardly a better moment for the tennis chancellor to support his most promising heir even more energetically. Because if not all deceives, by 2020 the hierarchy in world tennis is really on the test. Rafael Nadal (33), Roger Federer (38) and Novak Djokovic (32) can not reign forever.
But Zverev has to be careful to keep pace with colleagues like Thiem, Tsitsipas or Daniil Medvedev and Matteo Berrettini, who are also attacking the old gentlemen. At the beginning of 2020, people wanted to talk, Zverev said in London, when he was approached for a possible liaison with Becker. It is conceivable that until then, he wants to create clarity about which tasks and positions he can even take on.
Eye surgery should provide clarity
Zverev's season is officially over, without being over. On Sunday evening he flew with Federer, who also retired in the World Cup semi-final, South America. Four duels of the duo in Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Ecuador are still pending, before the Hamburger can then go into a short holiday break. It will be even shorter than planned because Zverev has to undergo eye surgery in New York. For some time now, he has been struggling with a more severe form of astigmatism. It hampers him especially when wearing contact lenses. At least medically, Zverev could then see the world clearer again.