Superstition is not a part of Alexander Zverev’s game on the court and according to the German, it neither is for Rafael Nadal.
“I am very far from a superstitious guy,”
“I think when you’re superstitious, especially on the court, you start being readable and you start, you know, kind of being predictable sometimes. For example, Rafa (Nadal), he’s superstitious but his superstitions have nothing to do with tennis. They’re all kind of away from tennis. They’re never superstitions inside of his game.”
Nadal actually has as many quirks and tics both on the court and off but Zverev has a point either way. Everything that the Spaniard does is related to focus and concentration and doesn’t influence his strokes and skill.
Alexander Zverev in his best form of the season
The 21-year-old mentioned this during the post-game press conference following his straight-sets win against Daniil Medvedev in the third round of the Rogers Cup in Toronto, Canada. The world No.3 is now through to his fifth ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final of the season, where he’ll face Greek teenage sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas, who defeated Wimbledon champion, Novak Djokovic.
“He’s a very talented young kid and he’s playing great so far,”
“He made the semis in Washington and he’s playing with a lot of confidence.”
“He’s probably playing the best tennis he’s ever played.”
Zverev beat Tsitsipas in that Washington semi-final before going on to win his third title of the season last Sunday, beating the Australian 19-year-old Alex De Minaur 6-2, 6-4. On the way to the final, he also had to face his older brother Mischa for the first time.
“I had a great tournament. I played a lot of great players. Losing only one set, it was a fantastic week for me. All those occasions and playing my brother, it was a special week after the win.”
It was a really important tournament for the German, as he had a lot of points to defend since he also won the Washington Open last season.
ATP players are wary of Alexander Zverev
Alexander Zverev, who reached his first career Grand Slam quarter-final at Roland Garros, feels that this year is different to the last one as tennis players on the circuit are more wary of him.
“Last year, everything was just the beginning and everything was like, you know, was not expected. This year it kind of, you know, everybody is expecting a little bit more from you, everybody is looking out for you more, and in that way it’s different. But in any other way, you still try to go out there and play tennis and try to be better than the guy on the opposite side of the net.”
Rogers Cup update
He is on course to meet that same not-so-superstitious Rafa Nadal in the Canadian Open final. A win over Tsitsipas will set up a meeting with either Grigor Dimitrov or Kevin Anderson in the semi-final. Meanwhile, Nadal plays Marin Cilic, with Robin Haase or Karem Khachanov awaiting in a potential semi-final clash.