New York (AP) – Questions to German tennis pro Alexander Zverev after defeat in the US Open final against Austrian Dominic Thiem:
Can you see when the match was destroyed?
Alexander Zverev: Leading the way with 2-0 sets and a break in a Grand Slam final and then losing is not easy. The game turned when he took my serve for the first time in the third set. Then he started to play much better and I started to play much worse. But even after that, I still had plenty of opportunities.
Dominic Thiem spoke about the pressure he felt. What did you think when you won the first two sets?
Zverev: I was almost a Grand Slam champion. I was a few games, maybe a few points away. What bothers me the most isn’t the third sentence or anything, it’s the fifth sentence. I had a lot of chances in the fifth set and didn’t take them. But I am 23 years old, I don’t think it was my last chance. I believe I will one day win a Grand Slam.
As disappointing as the result is now, can you bring something positive and look ahead?
Zverev: This question comes two or three days early.
Dominic Thiem also said he was incredibly nervous. Can you describe what it was like for you?
Zverev: Of course I was nervous too, but I had it under control. Unfortunately no more, but something like this happens. I am firmly convinced that this will not be my last Grand Slam final and that I will have the opportunity to do better.
What do you think was the deciding factor in the end?
Zverev: I don’t know myself yet. I was a few points from the win, which is very bitter. But I have to live with it. It doesn’t get any better from all that talk.
Dominic Thiem suffered from cramps at the end. How hard was the game physically for four hours?
Zverev: It was very, very difficult. Every point was almost a long rally. It was noticeable that the nerves played a major role. Eventually I had cramps in my left calf and could therefore no longer fully continue with the blow. It was a very intense match for both of us, in the end you want to win somehow. Dominic really deserved this title, probably a little more than me. So it is well deserved that he won.
Have you already had contact with your family? And are you flying straight to her now?
Zverev: Yes, I will fly home tomorrow. I haven’t spoken to them yet because I don’t have my phone yet. I didn’t want to read all of the ‘Sorry’ messages yet. But of course I will talk to my family. What do I do, I can’t hide.