Alexander Zverev - US Open 2023

Alexander Zverev claims he ‘played horrible’ in first round Japan Open defeat

Alexander Zverev has exited the Japan Open in the opening round, with the German suffering a dent to his hopes of reaching the year-end ATP Finals tournament.

Zverev was beaten by Jordan Thompson, 3-6 4-6, and the third seed did not hold back when assessing his performance after the match.

“Today I played horrible,” claimed Zverev. “He played quite good, he served quite good, but it’s just a very, very bad match for me. I don’t know what to say.”

It is the second top 10 win of the year for the Australian, who also beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in Miami earlier in the season, and he spoke about his belief going into the match.

“I haven’t done anywhere near as much as he has but when I get on the court with these guys, I’ve got to believe that I can beat them,” said Thompson. “If you don’t believe it, you may as well not be out here, so I’m just really enjoying the challenge.”

It is the third consecutive defeat for Zverev, and second first round defeat in a row, and the 26-year-old will now turn his attention to the ATP 500 event in Vienna next week.

Inside the baseline…

Zverev has done a lot of winning as of late, and it appears that those efforts to win the title in Chengdu, reach the US Open quarter-final and semi-final of the Cincinnati Masters are starting to take their toll. Zverev will need to regroup in time if he wants to qualify for his sixth ATP Finals, with many players hot on the heels of the German.

Alexander Zverev in the ATP Finals race

Although Zverev is currently sat inside top eight places in the race to the ATP Finals, his first round defeat in Tokyo leaves him vulnerable with those around him also competing this week.

Here is how he sits in the standings of those that have not already qualified:

5. Andrey Rublev – 4,275 points (Not playing this week)

6. Stefanos Tsitsipas – 3,615 points (Playing in Antwerp)

7. Alexander Zverev – 3,415 points (Lost in the first round in Tokyo)

8. Holger Rune – 3,110 points (Playing in Stockholm)


9. Taylor Fritz – 2,965 points (Playing in Tokyo)

10. Casper Ruud – 2,795 points (Playing in Tokyo)

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.