Alexander Zverev made a name for himself by very nearly defeating Rafael Nadal in Indian Wells. The young German had match point against the Spaniard before Nadal came back and won the match. Zverev had the match in his pocket, one point away from the biggest win of his life, and he netted the match point. Nadal was suddenly saved and with a renewed effort he came back to win the match.
The German, 18, is just starting out on the tour, and has a long way to go yet. Zverev has been touted by pundits and players as a future number one, and this is certainly possible. If the German puts in the hard work, the training, the miles and the matches, has the hunger to win and tries every match then there is no reason why he’s not talented enough to make it.
Another youngster who had been hyped to become great at a similar age, Andy Murray, has gone on to do just that. Number one in his home country, winner of many titles and like Zverev battled well against top players whilst still only young. The similarity doesn’t end there though. Both players have (or had in the case of the one who is not so young now) a very similar look
Zverev has made his name as very nearly defeating Nadal in Indian Wells, the other youngster first “burst” onto the scene around 2005, where at the Championships at Wimbledon he very nearly defeated David Nalbandian, leading from two sets up, the young Murray ultimately fell to the Argentine after leading by two sets to love. To date this is the only time the Brit has been beaten after leading by two sets up in a best of five match.
Could the young German follow a similar path to the Brit? only time will tell, but Zverev can take heart that he very nearly beat Nadal, and should work on learning from the match to build a plan of attack for the next time they meet. Thereby taking revenge on the defeat, players don’t like to talk about taking revenge as this can backfire badly, if the concentrate too much on this and not on working hard, improving their skills and shots. Reading the game is also vital and being able to change your strategy if you find the original one is not working all come with time and matches.
Will Zverev win a slam? difficult to say, the same talk has been muted about Grigor Dimitrov and to date the Bulgarian has failed to live up to his early potential. Nick Kyrigos is another player with potential, but needs to buckle down and work hard, also needs to keep his on court temper in check. Kyrigos is a little bit like John McEnroe used to be on court, but these days that isn’t an asset.
Zverev certainly has the potential to go far, especially if he is committed to the sport and works hard. It is certainly feasible that the young German could grow into a future number one on the ATP circuit.