Recently declared as the ATP Next Generation, he is an immensely talented tennis player who is here to do a lot of damage. A focused, determined and stubborn teenage force to be reckoned with. So Is Alexander Zverev Jr the next big thing in world tennis ?
“He’s going to have a really wonderful future ahead of him,” said Roger Federer. “He’s definitely one to watch for in another decade”. A well-deserved praise after Zverev defeated his childhood idol Federer in the Hopman Cup earlier this year.
Alexander ‘Sascha’ Zverev was born in Germany into a family that lives and breathes tennis. From the tender age of 5, he started playing tennis. This tenacious little fellow forced his parents to teach him the ways around the racket. His parents who are former professional Soviet players gave shape to his talent where his father to date is his coach. Apart from his parents, his older brother Mischa has been a huge influence on his life.
Alexander had been touring with his brother and father and been acquainted with professionalism from a very young age. He enjoyed the back door passes into the Grand Slam stadiums and hanging around the elites of the game. Growing and learning in that conducive arena, he witnessed the hard work and grit that it takes during his formative years that gave him a peek into the reality of tennis.
Zverev was the No. 1 ranked boys junior player between October 2013 and June 2014. He went on to win the Australian Open 2014. He turned pro in 2013 and that is when a whole new chapter of his life began.
2016 proved to be a fruitful year for Zverev as he entered the ATP top 50 and subsequently ATP top 20. He won his first title at the 2016 St. Petersburg Open. This gave him an opportunity to reflect on his position and what he’s doing right and how he wanted to proceed forward.
He is an aggressive player with a solid forehand and equally solid two-handed backhand. This towering 6’6’’ teenager has a strong serve and he is particularly lauded for his daunting second serves. He has everything that it takes to be the next big thing.
“He is a clear possible future no.1. He has all the shots,” said Rafael Nadal. Heed it as a warning.
In 2017, he has already won the Montpellier title in singles and doubles alongside his older brother. This year looks promising for him. He has already won against players like Stanislas Wawrinka, Richard Gasquet, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Roger Federer this year. He had a good run at the Australian Open where he lost to the eventual finalist Rafael Nadal in an exhausting 5-set match.
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He has been learning from the best and learning amongst the best yet he has a long way to go. Though Zverev has had a steep learning curve, he needs to be consistent with his efforts and play more often in the big leagues. This is just the beginning. The oyster is yet to open.
“I think we all know that we have a lot of hard work still ahead of us. We’re not where we all want to be,” Zverev said at Indian Wells. If you are a betting man then it would safe to call Alexander Zverev Jr the next big thing in world tennis !