German tennis legend Boris Becker believes Alexander Zverev is “his own biggest opponent” at the moment. Zverev, 25, missed the entire second half of the 2022 season due to injuries. On Tuesday, Zverev survived a major scare at the Australian Open as he needed five sets to beat 103rd-ranked Juan Pablo Varillas 4-6 6-1 5-7 7-6 (3) 6-4.
Even though Zverev was the absolute favorite to beat Varillas, Becker insisted he knew it could be a tricky match for the German. “There was a lot of talk about the supposedly easy draw for Sascha Zverev. I was always critical and said, ‘the opponent doesn’t matter at the moment’
He is his biggest opponent because of the long injury break. So, again, I don’t care who he plays in the second round. The decisive player is Sascha Zverev. If he feels good and plays attackingly, he will also win the match – regardless of who is on the other side,” Becker told Eurosport.
Becker: Zverev needs real matches
Becker, a former six-time Grand Slam champion, underlined that practices simply cannot do the job that real matches do for a player. “You can’t overcome a seven-month break, even with lots of training sessions,” Becker added.
Zverev is definitely still not playing his best tennis but the very positive thing is that his ankle has been responding well since he returned from the injury. “The bottom line is that it’s a good ending for Sascha because he now knows that the ankle is solid.
That was the first serious test of how fit he is and how he feels. He’ll probably know that a bit better tomorrow morning. He will probably have a bit of muscle soreness,” Becker explained. In the Australian Open second round, Zverev plays the winner of the match between Michael Mmoh and Laurent Lokoli.
Zverev will again be the favorite as it remains to be seen if this time he can clinch a more convincing win.
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