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“I haven’t been out there since the accident” – Zverev speaks about anxiety prior to playing on Philippe-Chatrier

No 22 seed Alexander Zverev has confessed to feeling anxious prior to his Philippe-Chatrier second-round match at Roland-Garros, the first time he’s stepped on this court since his ankle injury last year

Alexander Zverev Roland-Garros

This time last year, Alexander Zverev was in devastating form. After defeating Carlos Alcaraz in the quarter-finals of Roland-Garros 2022, the German looked like one of the only players who could potentially threaten Rafael Nadal’s 14th title at the Grand Slam.

Zverev had made the semi-finals of Monte-Carlo and Rome, the final of Madrid, and was playing Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of Roland Garros.

Deep in the second set, tied at 6-6 in a match that had already gone almost three hours, it all went wrong when Zverev slid to his right to return a ball. The cracking of his ankle echoed around the stadium, as did his cries of pain.

That was the last point the then world No 3 played all year.

Philippe-Chatrier win critical for Zverev mentally

Zverev confessed that prior to his second-round match against Alex Molcan, he went out onto Court Philippe-Chatrier to revisit the scene of his horrific accident.

“Yeah, I did (feel anxious). I did a little bit. That’s why I think before the match I went out on court just to see it because I haven’t seen it, I haven’t been out there at all since the accident.”

Mentally, Zverev believes it was critical for him to become accustomed to the court again, prior to playing his second-round match.

“That was, I think, quite important for me. Then during the match, I was extremely excited to be out there. I was extremely excited to be playing on that court again. I wanted to do the best I could.”

“Honestly, it was quite nice for me to get out there, especially after last year. I think it was a great atmosphere. It was a great feeling for me. I’m definitely happy with how everything went.”

Even more crucial for Zverev, will have been achieving a second-round win over Molcan.

Zverev hungry for more at Roland-Garros

Since his injury, Zverev has struggled to return to his best in 2023.

The German is 0-6 against top 20 players in 2023, and only has two top 50 wins to his name this year. Coming into Roland-Garros 16-14 on the season, Zverev was determined to right the ship with a deep run.

“It’s definitely a tournament I want to win and also do great. So yeah, there’s still a small part missing in that, but all in all, I enjoy being out here.”

Next up, the No 22 seed will play No 12 seed Frances Tiafoe, in what should be a blockbuster third-round encounter.

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