Biot / France (dpa) – When Alexander Zverev was asked about his short-term cancellation for the Berlin tournament after the controversial Adriatic tour, Germany’s top tennis professional just got up and broke off the press conference.
“Until tomorrow,” said the world in seventh place in Hamburg, smiled briefly at the camera and ended the video switch. The 23-year-old just won his first game against Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime during a spectacle at the Mouratoglou Academy in the South of France.
Initially still in a good mood and quite stubborn, Zverev announced the further collaboration with Spanish ex-professional David Ferrer as a coach and expressed reservations about hosting the US Open. “It’s kind of crazy to play the US Open now,” he said. “I would prefer the US Open not to take place and we start in Europe.”
It was “not the right time to fly to America now,” Zverev said, but ruled out a cancellation – unlike Australian Nick Kyrgios, who announced his waiver on Sunday. “What should we do for players when the US Open takes place? Especially when everyone is playing, it is also about ranking points,” said Zverev. Despite the still high Covid 19 numbers in the US and the concerns of many professionals, the American Association states that the women’s and men’s tournament first moved from Cincinnati to New York and will run the US Open without spectators from August 31.
Of course, the press attaché had pointed out on Saturday evening that please only questions about the “Ultimate Tennis Showdown” are allowed and should never be asked about Covid-19 or the Adriatic tour. On the (also unforeseen) topic of the US Open, Zverev was still guilty of replies following his behavior in the Corona crisis.
Amid current debates about the tour restart, a positive corona test for the Palermo women’s tournament and growing doubts about the US Open and now the Masters in Madrid, the performance at Nice was the first of Zverev’s audience since the epic Adriatic tour.
In June, he was initially in the top spot together with Novak Djokovic and other professionals for party videos and ignoring hygiene rules. After that, a party video with him, without any timing, appeared on the Internet. Finally, Zverev annoyed the organizers of an invitation tournament in Berlin with his short-term withdrawal.
Not good subjects for this fun summer evening in the beautiful academy of Serena Williams coach Patrick Mouratoglou. From a sporting point of view, the duel with his 19-year-old regular training partner was only of limited significance, but sometimes spectacular to watch – also because of the revolutionary rules.
For example, each match is played for four quarters of ten minutes each. The players are given nicknames (Zverev is “The Lion”, Auger-Aliassime “The Panther”) and are permanently called by the chair umpire. They also have the ability to draw virtual trumps and serve the opponent less, for example, or make the next point double or triple.
Because there is between Zverev and the world rankings-20. was a draw, decided a sudden death. The one who scores two points in a row wins. “It was just fun to play another game,” said Zverev. He didn’t feel like asking uncomfortable questions.