STUTTGART, June 10, 2019
Following a practice session with Canadian young gun Felix Auger-Aliassime on Monday afternoon, Alexander Zverev, top seed of the 2019 MercedesCup, met the media for the first time in Stuttgart this week. The World No. 5 accepted a wild card from the tournament’s organizers one day after losing in the quarterfinals at Roland Garros.
“I haven’t been here in Stuttgart for a few years. I’ve great motivation to do well, also to enjoy my time. Obviously you want to play the final at Wimbledon but to do that, you’ve to do great the weeks before,” Zverev explained his decision to compete on the ATP Tour this week.
Zverev’s coach Ivan Lendl will join the German on his home mission. The eight-time Grand Slam champion is expected to arrive in Swabia later in the evening.
“I hope that I can keep up my good form. I hope to have a good grass-court season, starting here in Stuttgart and then going to Halle. I started to practice yesterday. I didn’t hit for too long due to the rain but I had another two-hour session today and I will have more practice later in the afternoon. I will do everything I can to be ready,” the 22-year-old stated.
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Zverev, who is still on tour without a manager and a mobile phone, is playing his 12th tournament in the last 12 weeks of the ATP Tour calendar, highlighted by the run to the Geneva Open title last month.
“Physically I feel good and from a mental point of view it’s nice to be back in Germany. I always love to compete in front of my home crowd,” Zverev is looking forward to his first appearance at the Tennis Club Weissenhof since 2015. The Hamburg native played at the ATP 250 event in its final year on clay and first year on grass, but Zverev missed the last three editions. Tournament director Edwin Weindorfer hopes for a long-term partnership.
In his opening singles match on Thursday, Germany’s best male tennis player will either take on Australian John Millman, who pushed Zverev the distance in the first round of the French Open, or qualifier Dustin Brown.
“Both matches would be very interesting,” Zverev commented on his upcoming challenge. “I just spent more than five hours on court with John. Obviously on grass, it’ll be a different match. Facing Dustin is always tricky. He can be one of the most dangerous players on this surface. I prefer a player, who gives you more rhythm. A match against Dustin, however, would be more interesting for the fans.”