Alexander Zverev to make an immediate return after disappointing Australian Open exit
World number three Alexander Zverev will return to court at the ATP 250 Open Sud de France in Montpellier to get back on track after a lacklustre end to his Australian Open campaign.
The 2020 Olympic singles gold medallist looked in dominant and clinical form Down Under, winning his first three rounds all in straight sets as he looked to make a deep run.
But the tables were turned on Zverev when he faced 14th seed Denis Shapovalov in the last 16.
There, a high-powered Shapovalov met an underwhelming Zverev as the German went out to the Canadian in straight sets.
“To be honest, there is not much I can say or take away that was positive from today,” the 24-year-old said in a brutal self-assessment following the match.
Zverev progressed to at least the quarter-finals in each of his last four hard court Slam appearances before the 2022 Australian Open, so going out before the last eight would have been quite an unsatisfying result.
He is looking to build on a 2021 season that saw him claim a tour-leading six titles, including the Olympic gold medal, two Masters 1000 crowns and the ATP Finals for a second time come the end of the year.
Zverev’s best Slam results in 2021 came at Roland Garros and the US Open, reaching the semi-finals at both events before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas and Novak Djokovic respectively.
As such, the German can still replicate or even improve on his best results on the biggest stage from last year.
Zverev has played Montpellier twice before, but not since 2017 when he was 19-years-old, winning just his second career title there by defeating Richard Gasquet in the final.
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