Boris Becker exclusively in the Das Gelbe vom Ball podcast: This is why the criticism of Alexander Zverev by his colleagues is wrong

Alexander Zverev has already been traded as the next number one. Had the Hamburger won the Australian Open in January, he would have topped the world rankings.
As you know, things turned out differently. Instead of great successes, disappointments paved the way for Zverev. Quarter-finals in Melbourne, final failure in Montpellier, panic and disqualification in Acapulco, weak performances in the Masters competitions in Indian Wells and Miami.

“Sascha was a week away from becoming number one. Now he’s somewhere else. I think it was a step back emotionally for him. He felt it,” says Eurosport expert Boris Beckerwho in September 1991 was the last German professional to date to take the top spot in the ATP rankings.

ATP Acapulco

Former Wimbledon winner slams Zverev penalty for panicking

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Along with the poor results, Becker also sees the Acapulco scandal as a reason why the 24-year-old still hasn’t found his groove.

“Of course it takes you back. Until you find inner peace and form – that takes time,” said the six-time Grand Slam winner. Eurosport Podcast Das Gelbe vom Ball.

Becker slams Zverev’s ‘teammates’

Zverev hit referee Alessandro Germani’s chair several times in Acapulco after the doubles knockout loss. The fact that there was “only” a fine and no suspension in addition to the disqualification in Acapulco caused a lively controversy in the scene.

Do we need bans after stars freak out? That’s what Becker says

Becker sees Zverev’s misconduct as a mistake. However, the 54-year-old is annoyed that competitors such as Rafael Nadal or Casper Ruud felt called to publicly discipline the German. “Heavy fines were imposed, but for some of these players it doesn’t seem to matter,” the Norwegian shooting star pointed out in the Eurosport interview, referring to misconduct by Daniil Medvedev or Nick Kyrgios in addition to Zverev.

“What I don’t like at all is when other players criticize him. Everyone really has to stay with themselves and look in the mirror. We’re not all perfect, everyone panics and you don’t do that,” complained Becker. From his point of view, “tennis players are teammates too” and “you really shouldn’t comment publicly on the misbehavior of others. I think that’s wrong.”

Becker on Zverev: ‘The pressure is off a bit’

Zverev now has the big plan in front of his chest to get back on track in the face of weak form and public criticism. A totally doable task, as Becker explains. “The good thing is that he also feels very comfortable on clay and now he has every chance. The pressure is off a bit. I think the expectations of him and the tennis experts are not not that he’s one of the favorites for the next big tournament to win.” This starting position can help Zverev consistently develop his form.

Because: The Hamburg man is still number three in the rankings, and he’s leading the upcoming Masters and the French Open in May. Before Zverev, it’s not only physical work, but also mental work. “Sascha is old enough, he’s smart enough, he’s got enough talent. You go through such valleys in sport. It’s not always better, higher and further. Sometimes you have a crisis and step back “, says Becker. It is now important to “recognize this, to behave honestly with oneself and also to improve or change the environment”.

Becker: Zverev lacked a father in difficult phases

Zverev has already taken the first steps in this regard. In Miami, he worked with Sergi Bruguera, double champion of Roland Garros. “He will do him good on the sand,” Becker praises the decision to try new things as a coach. Another important factor is the health of father Alexander Zverev senior, who has coached his son since childhood and turned him into a top player. “How is he? Is he back? I think he missed him a bit in these moments of crisis at the start of the year”, underlines Becker. In Zverev’s camp, “a cohesive team has to grow together again. Then Sascha will also benefit.”

Zverev takes aim: “The only Master on clay that I still miss”

Zverev has the first opportunity to turn the year into a positive turn on the red surface in his adopted city of Monaco, where he starts the Masters tournament at the Monte-Carlo Country Club against Federico Delbonis. It is the only one of the three clay-court Masters that he has not yet won.

But above all, it’s about “training and playing fit again”, warns Becker. If this succeeds, the German tennis legend even entrusts his successor with the very big blow. If Zverev reaches his ‘best form’ on clay, he could ‘maybe even win Paris’.

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