Alexander Zverev searching for Grand Slam ‘mentality’
Alexander Zverev believes finding the joy in playing on the biggest stages will be key to his hopes of a Grand Slam breakthrough at the Australian Open after struggling with the pressure of being branded the next big thing of men’s tennis.
He admits he will need a change of mindset when he marches out onto the blue hardcourts at Melbourne Park and play with the same freedom that saw him claim his maiden ATP Tour Finals crown at the end of the 2018 season.
“Look, I always enjoy playing,” he told reporters on Saturday.
“I always enjoy competing, playing the sport that I love. There’s always a lot of pressure to it, always the question of: ‘When are you going to win a Grand Slam?
“I came to London before, and I wasn’t playing my best ... I really wasn’t playing well. I came to London saying, ‘Look, it’s the last tournament of the year, we’re all tired, you want to go on holidays. I want to enjoy it as much as I can. I’m playing the best players in the world, I’m going to see how it goes.’
“At the end of the week, I won the tournament. I kind of learned out of that. I kind of figured out I have to have the same mentality when I play at slams. I hope I can achieve that.”
Zverev has never made the second week at Melbourne Park and there was little joy in his third round exit last year. REUTERS