Misc Tennis

Zverev: I’m Not Dead

Zverev: I'm Not Dead

By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Monday, January 22, 202

The Happy Slam has felt like a pressure cooker for Alexander Zverev.

Zverev has handled the heat with hard-core competitive fire.

Djokovic: Federer Din’t Like My Behavior 

A focused Zverev won 21 of 25 first-serve points in the final set edging Cameron Norrie 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(3) in a four-hour, five-minute Australian Open fourth-round victory.

It was Zverev’s second fifth-set tiebreaker triumph in four tournament wins this week coming two rounds after he out-dueled qualifier Lukas Klein 7-5, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(7).

The good news for Zverev: he has been decisive going the distance. Zverev scored his fifth consecutive five-set win, improving to 21-10 in career five-setters.

The bad news for Zverev: he will face far fresher Wimbledon winner Carlos Alcaraz for a semifinal spot.

The second-ranked Alcaraz destroyed Miomir Kecmanovic, who was coming off a five-set win over 2023 semifinalist Tommy Paul, 6-4, 6-4, 6-0 roaring into his maiden Australian Open quarterfinal.

Alcaraz has spent about eight hours, 42-minutes on court, while Zverev has toiled nearly five hours longer.

Conceding fatigue could be a factor against the 20-year-old Spaniard, Zverev defiantly declared “I’m not dead.”   

“If you play less, you are fresher, but I feel okay. I’m not like the US Open where I was completely dead and where I feel like I’m physically exhausted,” Zverev told the media in Melbourne. “I’m tired, for sure, because I played 7-6 in the fifth set again two times out of the last three matches, but I’m not dead.

“I’m not completely exhausted. I’m not in the same physical state I was in the US Open.

“I expect it to be very different, to be honest.”

Tennis Express

Alcaraz is gearing up for another shot at the Olympic gold-medal champion.

The sixth-seeded Zverev has won four of seven meetings vs. Alcaraz, including a 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-4 victory at the ATP Finals last November.

However, two-time major champion Alcaraz swept Zverev 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in the US Open quarterfinals last September.

“He is a really great player. He has beaten great guys here in this tournament,” Alcaraz said of Zverev. “Obviously I love playing against him. It’s always a tough battles. I have to play my best level. He push me to play my 100% every time.

“The last time we face each other, I lost. So I have to be focus on that. I have to improve my…

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