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Alexander Zverev Australian Open 2022

Alexander Zverev plays ‘worst match in years’ with Madrid title defense looming

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Alexander Zverev’s preparations for his upcoming Madrid Open title defence have taken a huge blow as, with him playing his “worst match in the last five, six, seven years” at the Munich Open this week. 

The Olympic Champion has had a disappointing 2022 season so far, first crashing out in the round of 16 at the Australian Open to Denis Shapovalov and only reaching one final so far.

Zverev was hoping to turn his season around in front of a home crowd in Germany, however has been dumped out of the tournament in Munich by teenage wildcard Holger Rune in the first round.

The world number 70 dismantled the German in just 99 minutes as the Norwegian stormed to victory winning 6-3, 6-2.

The Olympic champion was extremely emotional during his post-match press conference, as he apologized to the fans for his underwhelming performance.

“I was incredibly nervous today before the match,” Alexander Zverev revealed. “It was my first time in Germany in front of a crowd for years.

“I can hardly speak now either. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for the spectators, I’m sorry for the tournament. It was my worst match in the last five, six, seven years.”

The 19-time tour title winner continued to analyse his performance, stating “I played without a forehand today. A performance like today’s isn’t enough even in a tournament in the 250 category.

“There are no excuses. Anyone who finds excuses today is not the smartest person.”

It comes as a concern for Alexander Zverev who is the reigning champion at next week’s Madrid Masters and appears to have little confidence going into his title defence, where he is also defending 1,000 of his ranking points.

He is also set to face stiff competition for the trophy this year as world number one Novak Djokovic is set to feature as well as Rafael Nadal – who will be competing for the first time since his rib injury he sustained in California.

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