Olympic champion Alexander Zverev has criticised the ATP for the late scheduling of his matches after his defeat in the Madrid final.

“The work of the ATP this week was an absolute disgrace,” Zverev said on Sunday after his clear 3-6, 1-6 loss to Spanish young star Carlos Alcaraz. “Two days ago I got to bed around 4:00, 4:30, yesterday I went to bed at 5:20,” Zverev said.

“If a normal person goes to bed at 4:00 one night and 5:00 the next night, it’s going to be hard for them to even get up,” the German number one said. And for him, a final match at a Masters 1000 tournament was on the agenda the next day, “against Carlos Alcaraz, who for me is the best player in the world right now,” Zverev said.

No coordination on serve and groundstrokes

Alcaraz had beaten Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in Madrid in succession and then Zverev in the final. “I don’t want to belittle Carlos’ performance at all. Even if I had been fit, I probably wouldn’t have had a chance against him today,” said the German number one. “But it was tough for me today. I had no coordination on my serve, no coordination on my groundstrokes,” said Zverev, who won the tournament at Caja Magica last year.

By reaching the final, Zverev nevertheless showed that his form curve is pointing upwards two weeks before the French Open in Paris. From Madrid, the 25-year-old now heads to Rome, where the next clay-court event in the Masters 1000 category is scheduled for this week. Zverev has a walk-through in the first round. In Rome, Zverev’s father will be back alongside new coach Sergi Bruguera. Alcaraz will not start due to slight ankle problems.