Alexander Zverev admits excessive phone usage led to lacklustre Australian Open
Alexander Zverev attributed his Australian Open exit on using his phone too much and being distracted by talks of becoming the new World number one and winning a first Grand Slam.
World number three Zverev was ejected from the Australian Open after a shock straight set defeat to Canadian youngster Denis Shapovalov. The match was branded one of his worst ever performances and he was criticised for a “lack of effort”.
Should Zverev had gone on to win his maiden Slam, he would have overtaken 20-time Slam champion Novak Djokovic as the new World number one. Djokovic was refused participation after he was deported just one day prior to the start of the event.
Such a lacklustre start to 2022 shocked many, especially considering Zverev enjoyed a fine 2021 season. Zverev claimed Olympic gold for Germany and won the ATP Finals. He was also the only player on the tour to win multiple Masters 1000 events.
After his early exit, it was announced that World number three Zverev would compete at the Open Sud de France in Montpelier in a bid to make amends for his disappointing ‘Happy Slam’ performance.
Zverev delivered some improved performances, but ultimately lost in the final to Alexander Bublik.
Speaking ahead of the Montpelier Open, Zverev said “there was too much pressure in Australia, too much talking on the potential of being [World] number one.
“It was in my head and I didn’t handle it well. It’s how it is. That’s why I’m here in Montpellier, I want to play, be on the court, do better.
“It’s a learning process. I was in the situation for the first time. Next time, maybe I won’t be on my phone that much.
“This time my parents were not with me, my girlfriend was not with me, so I was with my phone a lot. Next time, if they’re with me I can maybe shut it down, to be free from the outside world.
“That’s what I did very well in the Olympics after the semi-final, as I was the favourite to win the final. I’ll try to do that in a way.
“I need to learn from it. I’m not a young player anymore. I won at every level. A Grand Slam is the only goal missing.
“But you have a lot players there who gave the same goal. It won’t be easy. I’m working every day for that goal.”
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