After missing a chance to win the Hopman Cup title for the second year in a row (Germany had match point against Switzerland in the final), the world no. 4 Alexander Zverev has made an official start of the season at the Australian Open, ousting Aljaz Bedene 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 in an hour and 55 minutes for the 23rg Grand Slam win.
The young German suffered two minor injuries last week in Adelaide and Melbourne last week but fortunately it was nothing serious and he was ready to compete on a high level on Tuesday, hitting 35 winners and 31 unforced errors and playing well on the return to secure the win with six breaks.
After the match, Sascha said his body feels fine, the ankle is still a little bit swollen but he hopes it will be better before the start of the second round clash against Jeremy Chardy. Asked about the November’s ATP Finals when he won the biggest crown in a career so far, Zverev said he was relaxed during the entire week, enjoying his tennis and now trying to shift that vibes into Slams as well, reaching just one quarter-final so far at Roland Garros last year.
“This was my first match of the season and I was a little bit sloppy and slowish, he was up a break and that was a wake-up call, you better get going. After that, I thought I played really well, I’m happy to be through.
My body is close to perfection right now (laugh). I had about 86 injuries coming into this tournament so I’m happy that I feel good now and that everything is coming all together. My ankle is still a little bit sore and still a little bit swollen but everything looks really good and I hope it will get better with every day.
Winning ATP Finals was an unbelievable and special moment, competing against the best players in the world, you don’t get anywhere else, not even at Slams. I was very proud to win the event while facing five top-eight rivals.
I didn’t play my best in the weeks before and I just wanted to enjoy the last week of the season as much as I can. I didn’t have goals and expectations to win the title or something like that and I still played well so I will try to shift that into Slams as well and just enjoy the moment and playing in front of this great crowd and on the biggest stadiums against the best rivals.
That was the most important thing about that tournament besides winning the title. I have done all the hard work during the preparation for the new season and I’m gonna continue working hard, doing everything I can to be the best player I can.
At the same time, you have to enjoy as much as you can and the results will come itself.”