Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev lifts lid on injury frustration: ‘I broke everything I could’

Alexander Zverev has lifted the lid of the severity of his recent injury, and he is convinced it cost him his first Grand Slam title.

Zverev suffered the injury during the 2022 French Open semi-final against Rafael Nadal. After three hours of tennis so brutal that they couldn’t even complete two sets, the German rolled his ankle while chasing down a Nadal forehand.

He left the court in a wheelchair before returning on crutches to officially concede, and it kept him out for the rest of the season.

Zverev has been able to return for this season, though, and is slowly working his way back to form and fitness. For him, though, the injury will always be a tough one to stomach.

“Last year during the French Open was the first time in my life where I went into matches, I went into the Alcaraz match, the Nadal match as well, and I thought ‘I can win the French Open and I’m going to win the French Open,’’ Zverev said.

“Obviously I didn’t. Not only did I not win, I basically broke everything that I can in my ankle. So it was, yeah, a tough period.

Rafael Nadal and an injured Alexander Zverev

“But after an injury like that, I’m happy where I’m standing right now. I’m getting back. I’m playing some decent tennis this week. Hopefully this will continue.

“I think 2021, the last six months of the season, was one of the best tennis that I ever played.

“I lost three or four matches I think in six months. Yeah, that was a special time for me.”

Alexander Zverev is certainly looking much more like his old self at the moment. He bounced back from a defeat to Andy Murray in Doha to battle his way to the semi-finals of Dubai. He will take on Andrey Rublev in the last four.

It is the fifth tournament of his season so the signs are looking good as far as his improvement is concerned.

And, as for a potential rematch with Nadal in Paris this spring? Well it’s probably best to not even mention it for now.

“Guys, we’re in Dubai,” he said when asked. “Let’s focus on Dubai because I’m in the semi-finals of a big tournament.

“We are in February. Roland Garros is end of May. There’s still very big tournaments ahead. Right now I’m not really thinking about Roland Garros. It’s not my thought process.

“I’m playing the semi-finals of Dubai tomorrow either against world No 5 in tomorrow. Right now my mind, that’s what is in my head, not how I will play in Roland Garros.”

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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.