‘I’m prepared for the hate!’ – Alexander Zverev goes toe-to-toe with Australian Open crowd
Understandably, Alexander Zverev came up against a partisan crowd at the Australian Open as he faced home talent John Millman for a place in the third round.
Despite little support against the Aussie star, the world number three came through with little resistance 6-4, 6-4, 6-0.
In his post-match interview, 2021 Golden Slam champion and Australian superstar Dylan Alcott asked Zverev what it was likely to play in such an atmosphere.
“I could really feel that you guys have been in lockdown for two years,” Zverev responded.
“Amazing atmosphere. Hopefully it’ll stay the same and get even louder in the next few matches.
“I’m prepared that everybody will hate me after the match,” he acknowledged having beaten an Australian.
“I think it’s quite accurate. So yeah that’s my mindset and hopefully I’ll get a lot of boos and everybody will cheer against me.
“There you go! No I’m kidding!” Zverev added as the crowd obliged with some boos.
Zverev clearly understood the feeling on Rod Laver Arena but was more than grateful to be playing in front of an energetic crowd after so many pandemic ups and downs.
“Since Covid started sports needs atmosphere, sports needs people,” he explained.
“And it doesn’t matter whether you’re for me or against me I enjoy the atmosphere I enjoy the noise, I enjoy being on-court in front of all of you guys.
“Spectators bring emotions, and sports without spectators is like sports without emotion.
“So it’s incredible that we’re going back to normal and it’s incredible to play in front of everybody.”
Alcott further asked Zverev about arguably the highlight of his 2021, winning Olympic gold in Tokyo, about which Zverev revealed something about his medal.
Zverev takes on Moldovan qualifier Radu Albot next for a spot in the fourth round against either Denis Shapovalov or Reilly Opelka.
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