Alexan­der Zverev search­ing for Grand Slam ‘men­tal­ity’

The Sunday Guardian - - SPORTS -

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

MELBOURNE

Alexan­der Zverev

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