Alexander Zverev gives brutal assessment of his ‘awful’ play at Australian Open

Alexander Zverev had an opportunity to step into the spotlight as a tennis star of the future at the Australian Open, but those hopes ended with a fourth-round loss to Denis Shapovalov.

Zverev, 24, is ATP’s third-ranked player and was the third-seeded player in Melbourne, but hasn’t yet won a Grand Slam in his career. With top-seeded Novak Djokovic removed from the tournament just ahead of its start, Zverev said he was eyeing the possibility of being ranked as the best player in the world.

“At the end of the day, I’ve got to do better. I came here with a goal to win, and maybe to become No. 1 and all that,” Zverev said at a press conference after his loss. “But if I play like that, I don’t deserve it. It’s as simple as that.

“I think after a match like this, it’s very silly to talk about [No. 1]. I think I need to figure myself out first.”

Zverev lost in straight sets (6-3, 7-6, 6-3) to 14th-seeded Shapovalav, but he was critical of his performance throughout the tournament. 

“I was playing bad the whole week. To be honest, I didn’t think I was playing that great,” Zverev said. “There is not much I can say or take away that was positive from today. Maybe since Wimbledon, one of the worst matches I have played… Today was just awful from my side.”

Zverev advanced to the finals of the 2020 U.S. Open and made semifinals appearances at the 2020 Australian Open, 2021 French Open and 2021 U.S. Open.

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