Alexander Zverev admits he is currently not at the level where he can expect from himself to win the Australian Open. Zverev, 25, missed the entire second half of the 2022 season after tearing several ankle ligaments and contracting a bone edema issue.
On Saturday, Zverev kicked off his 2023 season with a shock 6-4 6-2 defeat to Jiri Lehecka. “I think feeling-wise I felt OK. But I think my tennis is far away from the level I want it to be. I think it’s also normal not playing for seven months.
There are things that are different than I’m used to. I think I was getting tired a lot quicker than I’m used to. But that comes obviously with not playing. (Am I ) concerned? Probably not. Physically I’m not at the level that I have to be.
This is not even a question. I’m getting tired I think a lot quicker than I always did. I’m not as fast as I probably was," Zverev said.
Zverev on his chances of winning the Australian Open
The match against Lehecka clearly showed that Zverev is far from his best tennis.
“I think it’s tough to set expectations high right now. It would be unrealistic and also quite stupid for me to set the expectations towards winning or something like that. Of course, I want to win. Everybody wants to win.
For me, it’s about getting back the form that I’m used to," Zverev said. In his next match at the United Cup, Zverev is set to play Taylor Fritz. Fritz, ranked at No 9 in the world, will be a much harder test from Zverev than Lehecka was.
However, this will be a good opportunity for Zverev to bounce back. Against Fritz, Zverev will be looking for his first win of the season. Beating a top-10 player like Fritz would certainly improve Zverev's confidence levels.