Tennis - The sad end of a crazy week - sports
After the separation of coach Ivan Lendl Alexander Zverev missed the finals in Hamburg. It could have been his last home game for now.
A dive into the sand, Alexander Zverev threw himself in vain into the passing ball of Nikoloz Basilashvili. He got up, no problem, had his back cleaned by a ball boy, the showdown in the semi-finals at Rothenbaum in Hamburg went on. Tiebreak, 5: 5, third set. Two serves later, Zverev still lost 4: 6, 6: 4 and 6: 7 in his red and white shirt. The final of the Hamburg European Open takes place on Sunday without it, without the attraction of the event. Without the returnee, the ATP world champion, the world's number five, whom everyone here calls Sasha.
Heavily disappointed, the long Wuschelkopf left the Centercourt, accompanied by applauding and also disappointed spectators. He had held the victory for a few moments. "I had match balls in my hometown where I had not played for three years," Zverev said in a husky voice. There were two match balls, he wasted them as much as more breakballs. "I had every chance, what can I say, not a nice feeling right now."
At the age of 22 Hamburg should have inherited Michael Stich, who in 1993 was the last German to win this ATP tournament not far from the Alster. Rebuilt stadium, new tournament management, his triumph would have been the culmination. There were probably no details, nuances. Maybe it would have been different if the referee at the score of 5: 5 would not have liked a ball from Basilashvili, although Zverev protested. The forehand had landed in Aus, Zverev affirmed later depressed. But the mishaps add up easily when one looks for his form, which he had especially in his ATP triumph in November 2018 in London, and when then the separation of his coach Ivan Lendl intervenes.
He slept in the cot that Mama cooked, the dad woke up as a coach in the box
The return to Hamburg was therapy in old surroundings, but of course thanks to the fact that Zverev had recently said goodbye on the grass of Wimbledon in round one. If he had come further, he would not have been home at the family station before the ATP Masters follows in Montreal next week. "It was a crazy week, incredible feelings," Zverev reported. He slept in the cot that Mama cooked, the daddy woke up as a coach in the box, the audience called his name. And yet, this crazy week also proved that Germany's best tennis player has not yet found his balance.
Before the start of the tournament, he had told baffled reporters that his coach Lendl is currently more interested in golfing and his little dog than his second serve. Then Lendl announced on the night of Friday in the US that the cooperation had been completed. "I believe in Sascha, who is still very young," announced the world's best tennis player. "I think he will one day become a great player, but right now he has some problems out of place that make it difficult to work in a way that suits my philosophy." Zverev countered that he had only respect for Lendl, but they had actually wanted to discuss the matter in America.
He constantly praises his previously different and now only coach, his father. Stoisch experienced Alexander Zverev senior, as his son seemed to turn this game. The quarter-final on Friday he had won after lost first and 2: 5 deficit in the second set. Compared to the fast last year's winner Basilvashili, ATP number 16, he was after losing first and won the second set 0-3 behind, won five games in a row, had his two match balls and made all in all just too many mistakes.
Lack of entertainment value Alexander Zverev could accuse nobody. He hopes that the emotions can be experienced here again, he said, but another comeback on Rothenbaum in the coming year is likely to be difficult, especially as he does not want to switch from grass to sand on the hard court within a few days. 2020 is Olympia, and he also wishes "that I eventually learn how to play at Wimbledon". Now Alexander Zverev, born in Hamburg and growing up at Uhlenhorster HC, is flying home, "to my other home, Monaco", and then to Canada. Hard court, Masters. Without Lendl, with father, far away from home.