By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday March 2, 2023
Last year in Paris, Alexander Zverev felt he was going to win Roland-Garros. After upsetting Carlos Alcaraz in the quarterfinals he was neck-and-neck with Rafael Nadal in the semifinals when everything fell apart.
Zverev slipped at the back of the court, tore three ligaments in his ankle, and hasn’t been the same since.
But he’s on the up again.
“Last year during the French Open was the first time in my life where I went into matches, I went into the Alcaraz match, the Nadal match as well, and I thought ‘I can win the French Open and I’m going to win the French Open,’” Zverev told reporters on Thursday in Dubai. “Obviously I didn’t. Not only did I not win, I basically broke everything that I can in my ankle. So it was a tough period.
“But after an injury like that, I’m happy where I’m standing right now. I’m getting back. I’m playing some decent tennis this week. Hopefully this will continue.”
“That shows that the hard work is paying off” 💪@AlexZverev on reaching his first semi-final since Roland Garros 2022.@DDFTennis pic.twitter.com/TvA864pATX
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) March 2, 2023
Nine months after surgery the German is starting to feel his game again, as he moved into his first ATP semifinal since the injury on Thursday in Dubai, defeating Lorenzo Sonego, 7-5, 6-4.
“I’m starting to play decent tennis, which is nice after nine months,” Zverev said after his win. “I’m happy about that. I’m happy with how the match went. I’m also happy how I handled the pressure situations. So all in all I think there’s a lot of positives to take from that.”
Zverev will face Andrey Rublev in the semifinals on Friday (he owns a 5-0 head-to-head advantage against the Russian). The 19-time ATP titlist, still so young at 25, believes he is headed in the right direction and that better things are in the offing.
“Right now I am happy with how I play,” he said. “Right now I’m happy with how I feel on the court. That’s the most important for me.”
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