Alexander Zverev US Open 2021

Zverev feels he is ‘not far away’ from Novak Djokovic’s World number one position

Alexander Zverev has revealed that he believes he can close the gap on Novak Djokovic as he has “improved his game a lot in the last few years.”

After a career-best season, Zverev is currently third in the ATP world rankings. Zverev reached this position after taking Olympic gold at the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympics, winning the ATP Finals and being the only player on the tour to win two Masters 1000 events this season.

Only US Open winner Daniil Medvedev and Serbian 20-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic are ahead of him. However, Zverev beat World number two Medvedev in the final of the ATP Finals and overcame World number one Djokovic en route to his Olympic gold, crushing the Serbian’s dreams of a Golden Slam in the process.

Zverev was named German Sportsman of the Year Award and has also previously outlined his lofty plans to win a Grand Slam of his own in the near future.

German legend Boris Becker also echoes Zverev’s ambitions of winning a Major and becoming World number one as he “hopes Zverev becomes the most successful German player ever.”

On Eurosport Germany’s Das Gelbe vom Ball podcast, Zverev saidĀ “I know I’m not far away from it [World number one], but for that I also have to win tournaments and Grand Slams.

“The situation with Novak and Australia is still a big question mark. Of course I hope that he will be allowed to play, that’s very clear.

“There are thousands of mathematical calculations, if he doesn’t play Australia and I win the Australian Open, then I’m number one in the world.

“At the end of the day, now is not the time to think about it, now is the time to prepare as best as you can so you’re physically able to play for it.

“I can only ever speakĀ of myself, but I think that I have improved my game a lot in the last few years. I don’t only see that when I play against Novak, I also see that when I play against others.

“I also talked aboutĀ this with Novak. Novak feels like he is still at the highest point of his career. He also told me that he is serving better now than he ever served before. He sees his tennis game as good as he used to see it. He has no problems from the baseline, so I already think we’re improving.

“I’ve become much calmer. I’m also getting older. I’m not 18 or 19 anymore. I understand maybe a bit more things about life and understand that you just have to keep calm in important situations.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.