Alexander Zverev is playing in his home country again. The tennis star wants to be fit again by the Davis Cup in Hamburg at the latest. During his short visit to the Hanseatic city, he has another important personal message.
Alexander Zverev arrived a few minutes late for his flying visit to his hometown. A thunderstorm in the region of his adopted home town of Monaco had prevented the Olympic tennis champion from leaving for Hamburg on time. In any case, the 25-year-old wants to be on time for the Davis Cup in the Hanseatic city in a month’s time.
Home match is out of the question
“I’ve already started training hard for the Davis Cup,” Zverev said in good spirits at a press conference in a hotel overlooking the Alster on Thursday. There was no question “that I will be at the Davis Cup”.
Only a few weeks ago, his participation seemed unlikely. The world number two had twisted his ankle in the semi-final of the French Open on 3 June against Rafael Nadal and torn all three lateral ligaments in his right ankle. It would take him four months to get back on the court, the doctors had told him, Zverev said. Now he himself is surprised about the fast healing process.
The Davis Cup Group Finals will take place from 13 to 18 September at the Rothenbaum. The German team will play France (14 September), Belgium (16 September) and Australia (18 September) in their group.
“Of course they are strong opponents, but we also have a strong team,” said Zverev. “This will be a highlight for me this year, also a highlight for all the other guys.” The aim, he said, was to win the group and qualify for the final tournament in Malaga from 22 to 27 November.
Spectators will be “decisive
In Hamburg, the match will be played on a hard court instead of the usual clay court at Rothenbaum. In addition, the roof of the stadium will be closed. “It will be a great atmosphere,” said the President of the German Tennis Federation, Dietloff von Arnim. “And I think we will be successful. Of course, the spectators will be decisive.”
Zverev sees it the same way. “This will definitely be a home match,” he said. “It will be something completely different again than playing an ATP tournament at home.” In the team, he said, people are always together and cheer each other on. “And when we have 10000 spectators in the stadium and tens of thousands of people know that we are playing at home, it is something special.”
Zverev left open whether he will compete at the US Open at the end of the month. “I’m not sure if it will be something with the US Open,” he said. He will know more in ten days.
Zverev’s personal message
Then it became personal again and he spoke about his diabetes, which he had made public at the weekend. At the same time, he had announced the establishment of a foundation. “You can achieve a lot with this disease,” said Zverev, who by his own admission was also teased as a child because of diabetes. “I want to encourage many other children, many parents, to just not set limits for themselves.” That is his message, he said.
Like all diabetes sufferers, he has to inject himself several times a day, Zverev said. He also checks his levels regularly during matches, he added. “I have my story under control, fortunately.”
Soon after, Zverev drove to the airport again and flew back to Monaco. In the afternoon, training was on the agenda again. The Davis Cup at home awaits.