Alexander Zverev insists he won’t think about losing in the Roland Garros semi-finals on Friday for long, but the German couldn’t hide his disappointment at getting off to a slow start against Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Speaking after Tsitsipas reached his first Grand Slam final with a 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3 win, Zverev admitted, “I’m not at a stage anymore where great matches are something that I’m satisfied with. Today [means] nothing. I lost. I’m not in the final. Was it a good match? Yes. But at the end of the day, I’m going to fly home tomorrow. There’s nothing positive about that.
“I don’t particularly care about [reaching the] semi-finals. [It] might sound bad in a way or [it] might sound arrogant. I’m not trying to be arrogant. I’m just saying it how it is. I wouldn’t have cared about a final either, to be honest. I didn’t win the tournament. Wimbledon is in two weeks’ time and I’m looking forward to that.”
Tsitsipas Reaches First Major Final, Beats Zverev In Five Sets
Sixth seed Zverev led 3-0 in the second set, but fifth seed Tsitsipas went on to win the next seven games. A strong service performance aided his comeback and the World No. 6 had Tsitsipas at 0/40 in the first game of the fifth set.
“I started to play proper tennis in the third set,” said Zverev. “Against someone like Stefanos, it might be too late. Today, if I broke him in the first game of the fifth set, maybe the outcome would be different. [But] I didn’t. I can’t go down two-sets-to-love against a top player like Stefanos and expect to win every single time.”
The 24-year-old Zverev, who beat Rafael Nadal en route to the Mutua Madrid Open title (d. Berrettini) in May, dropped to a 23-9 match record on the season after his sixth loss in eight ATP Head2Head meetings against Tsitsipas. He is currently in fourth position in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin and looks to be on track to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held from 14-21 November.
“Today, during this tournament [and] during the whole clay court season, I felt like I was playing well,” said Zverev. “I was playing well enough to go deep. But at the end of the day, coming out of the match and playing the first two sets like I did… yes, you can win the match, but it makes it extremely difficult.
“I almost did it, but I [have] got to start better. When I come into these matches, I [have] got to be a hundred per cent from the first point.”
Zverev will next compete at the NOVENTI OPEN in Halle, which begins on Monday.