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“I did feel like that could have been the week for me” – Zverev on 2022 French Open that went wrong
The German is yet to reach a final on the tour since returning in January and opens his clay season in Monte-Carlos today against Alexander Bublik
Germany’s Alexander Zverev believes that he was playing his best tennis on clay during the French Open last year and could have defeated Rafael Nadal had he not gotten injured during the second set of their semi-final clash.
The match was tantalisingly poised at 7-6, 6-6 in Nadal’s favour when Zverev suffered a horrible ankle injury that saw him getting wheeled off the court and back on crutches to shake hands with his opponent and the umpire. With the new clay court season getting underway, Zverev looked back on the match, saying that he felt that could have been his week.
Rafa and Roger [Federer] come back from injury and they start winning tournaments immediately. I don’t know how they do that.Alexander Zverev
“For some reason I did (think that I could have won the semi). I don’t want to sound arrogant,” the world No 16 told Eurosport. “Rafa is obviously the best player to ever play on that surface so you never know what happens. You never know what happens in that match as well. If I don’t get injured, of course I (could have lost) that match. Of course, he can go on to win his 14th Grand Slam. But I felt like I was playing my best tennis that I’ve ever played on that surface. So, for some reason, I did feel like I could at least compete with him, which I was doing. The outcome of the match obviously, always depends on little factors as well. But I did feel like that could have been the week for me.”
The German was forced to miss the rest of the season and returned only in January this year. But since then, he has yet to find his form – going 8-9 for the year and still trying to reach his first final of the s.eason The progress has been slow, but that was expected according to Zverev.
“Rafa and Roger (Federer) are different,” the 25-year-old said. “They come back from injury and they start winning tournaments immediately. I don’t know how they do that. But they’ve been doing it for 20 years now. I needed time but I think also my injury was maybe a little bit different. I was not able to walk really for two months. You have to learn your movements again, you have to learn how to walk again, you have to learn how to run again. These are all factors that may play a little bit of a part in tennis.”
Zverev begins his clay season in Monte-Carlo this week with a clash against Alexander Bublik, whom he will be aiming to beat for the first time in three attempts on Tuesday.