Alexander Zverev French Open 2022

Alexander Zverev branded ‘arrogant’ for Rafael Nadal Roland Garros claims

Roger Federer’s former coach Ivan Ljubicic has called Alexander Zverev ‘arrogant’ for his comments about last year’s French Open.

It was won by Rafael Nadal – the 14th Roland Garros title of his career – but not before he came through an epic of a semi-final against Zverev which was cut short by an injury to the German.

The pair played three hours of tennis and yet could not even complete two sets before Zverev got his foot caught in the clay and tore three ligaments in his foot.

It brought to an end one of the most physically bruising matches in recent memory, yet Zverev has claimed he felt he would have won the match, and the French Open title, had it not been for that injury.

He was a set down and the second was about to go to a tiebreak when the injury occurred, meaning Zverev was never really close, but has always been adamant that injury cost him a maiden major.

“For some reason I did [believe I was going to win it],” Zverev recently said. “I don’t want to sound arrogant.

“Rafa is obviously the best player to ever play on that surface so you never know what happens. You never know what happens in that match as well.

“If I don’t get injured, of course I [could have lost] that match. Of course, he can go on to win his 14th Grand Slam.

“But I felt like I was playing my best tennis that I’ve ever played on that surface. So, for some reason, I did feel like I could at least compete with him, which I was doing.

“The outcome of the match obviously, always depends on little factors as well, but I did feel like that could have been the week for me.”

Ljubicic is having none of that, though. The Croatian appears to be struggling to separate Zverev’s words from his declaration that he does not want to be arrogant.

However, he didn’t appear overly annoyed by it when he took to Twitter to comment.

“Nobody wants to sound arrogant but everyone is claiming to have almost won Roland Garros last year,” he said. “Love it!! On with trash talk.”

Alexander Zverev played his first clay court match this week since that injury, beating Alexander Bublik 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 at the Monte-Carlo Masters.

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.