Alexander Zverev ‘back in Grand Slam contention,’ says John McEnroe
John McEnroe says the dominant win over Carlos Alcaraz at the Australian Open proves that Alexander Zverev is back in Grand Slam contention.
Zverev was, for a long time, the leader of the NextGen and many thought it was only a matter of time before he reached the top of tennis.
That hasn’t happened yet, although he did come agonizingly close to winning the US Open in 2020.
A serious foot injury sustained at the French Open in 2022, three hours but just two sets into an epic semi-final clash against Rafael Nadal also set him back, and he has not looked all that close to winning a Grand Slam since returning.
However, the level he showed in his victory over Alcaraz in Melbourne was the kind of level that wins you majors, and McEnroe thinks his time to strike may finally be here.
“He should’ve won a Grand Slam already,” McEnroe told Eurosport of Zverev. “He was up two sets and a break against [Dominic] Thiem at the US Open and should’ve won that.
“He served for the match in the fifth set but his nerves went. That was unfortunate. There is a guy by the name of [Novak] Djokovic and [Rafael] Nadal that have prevented him from winning one so far and have got in the way.
“When Zverev played Nadal at the French in 2022, it looked like he believed that maybe he could actually beat Rafa at the French Open.
“The only thing as tough as that is beating Novak Djokovic in Melbourne at the Australian Open. I believe he was very close but that injury set him back a year and a half.
“He’s finally back in the mix but while that’s been going on, other guys have stepped up. Djokovic is better than ever. [Carlos] Alcaraz has come along, [Jannik] Sinner is better, [Daniil] Medvedev is an obstacle. It hasn’t got easier, it’s got harder.”
Alexander Zverev will play Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open on Friday, with the winner facing either Novak Djokovic or Jannik Sinner for the title.
You can watch the Australian Open live on Eurosport and Discovery+.
Read >> World’s best tennis magazine