(Analysis) What is behind Germany's new tennis star?

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, November 22, 2018
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By Oliver Trust

BERLIN, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- Germany's Alexander Zverev made his big breakthrough in men's tennis by winning the 2018 ATP finals. Losing finalist and 14-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic and German tennis legend Boris Becker both predict a great career for the 21-year-old.

"You've got an unbelievable career ahead of you," said the world number one Djokovic.

"The tennis world has been waiting for the moment. He's the best of his generation," Becker commented. "A German with humor, eloquent and able to laugh about himself. A star has been born."

Zverev is the first German to win the ATP finals since Becker in 1995 and the youngest player ever. On his way to winning the title he even managed to beat two all-time greats back to back - first Roger Federer in the semifinals and then Djokovic in the final.

But who is the new rising star in tennis and what lies behind his success?


Tennis has always been the Zverev family's primary focus. They are surrounded by professionally taking care of what it takes for Alexander to be successful in the game.

His parents immigrated from Sotschi in Russia to Hamburg in 1991. Father Alexander is a former tennis professional. His mother Irina was a top amateur player.

Born in Hamburg, Alexander was three when he first picked up a tennis racket in the city's Uhlenhorst suburb. In his early years, he was always with his mother who took care of him when she was practicing and playing matches.

He was coached by his father who mapped out the next steps. "When someone is perfect, you try to make him better," he commented.

Zverev turned pro immediately after leaving school at the age of 16.

The world No. 4 now lives in Monte Carlo but spends most of the summer in the house of his older brother and fellow professional Mischa in Florida/USA to take advantage of the better training conditions.


For Zverev junior, his father has always been the most influential factor in developing his tennis and making him world class. "It was my father who taught me all about the basics of tennis. He deserves the most appreciation," Zverev emphasized.

But just before the US Open in August, the new coach Ivan Lendl joined the ambitious Zverev project. The 58-year-old eight-time Grand-Slam winner's experience is said to be a crucial component in the youngster's efforts to win major titles. It is hoped Lendl will make the difference and turn Zverev into a Grand Slam champion. Whilst rising up the world rankings, Zverev has however failed to produce his best tennis in the four majors.


The three-year-old poodle Lovik is always around, when practicing, in daily life; during tournaments - he is courtside and joins his master for award ceremonies. "I couldn't think of a better companion. He's a vital part of our family," Zverev said.


In addition to his unique talent, Zverev has an unbreakable will to be successful.

Both his family and his coaches say he rarely needs a push to get out on court, quite the contrary he has to be told to stop practicing every now and again.

"In tennis, you are completely on your own on court. You have to find solutions on your own. Therefore tennis is one of the most challenging sports in the world," Zverev Junior emphasized.

"2018 has been the best year in my career. I hope I can go one better next year," Zverev commented before taking a long vacation in Dubai and the Maldives. Enditem

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