Together with tournament director Edwin Weindorfer, Alexander Zverev showed up to his press conference at the MercedesCup in a very relaxed and good mood. We have the most important statements from the world’s no. 5, who will start his bid for the title on Thursday, summarized for you.
What are your goals for the MercedesCup?
I hope that I will get into good shape here. First of all, I want some good practices and I’m really looking forward to playing in front of my home country crowd. Yesterday, I was able to practice only a little because then the rain started. I’m doing everything to get in great form, I even play doubles with my brother.
Is this a thing you have to take from week to week?
Yes, I’m going to play two tournaments in Germany now. I haven’t done this in years and I’m really motivated. Obviously, I want to play my best tennis in Wimbledon.
Are you seeing yourself as the top favorite?
I don’t know, I’ve only had one training session. The main draw is unbelievably strong. Lopez even had to go through the qualifiers.
Why did you decide to play in Stuttgart after all?
I talked with Edwin in Paris and decided after that. And why not? I hope to come back here regularly in the future.
You’ve had some troubles in spring, but now you seem to have found your form again?
I can finally concentrate completely on tennis again. Before, I had to concentrate on other things, too and I wasn’t used to that. I had to do management things and stuff. Now, this is all settling down. Right now, I don’t have a manager, I’m completely on my own.
Is this making you so strong?
I still have my dog (laughs), so I’m not lonesome.
What are the things you want to improve on grass?
Grass is a very special surface on which you have to play a different game. It’s not like you put in three or four practices and you’re ready to go. You get better from year to year, you keep on learning. Right now, I already have a few years of experience under my belt and know what I’m doing on the court.
Don’t you worry that this is getting a bit much?
I don’t think that I’m playing too much. Really, I feel good right now. I’ve improved my tennis in the past weeks and that’s why I thought it would be a good idea to play here in Stuttgart.
What are your goals? Do you think you can be no. 1 at the end of the season?
If I don’t lose another game until the end of the season that’s possible. We’ll just see…
What do you think about your opponent in the second round?
It will be either John Millman or Dustin Brown. Both are very unpleasant players for a first match. Dustin is one of the most dangerous players, because it will be my first match on grass this season. It will be an interesting match, no matter who will make it through to the second round. If I should play against Dustin that would obviously be great for the fans and the tournament.
Are you somehow able to help your brother?
Well, we are talking a lot about how he is playing at the moment. Everybody has seen his match today. He has an easy volley fault and suddenly his whole mentality is gone and he can’t play anymore. He has to change and improve that, but that is tough. He feels like he always has to, but things don’t go his way. He must get back to enjoying playing tennis.