Alexander Zverev is playing the best tennis of his career heading into the latter stages of the US Open, according to pundit Boris Becker and his brother Mischa Zverev.
The 24-year-old German won the men’s Olympic singles title earlier this summer, and has carried that form into the final Grand Slam of the year.
Zverev, who faces South African Lloyd Harris in the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows, has now won 15 games in a row, and his compatriot Becker says that such form is the best of his career.
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“It’s extraordinary,” Becker said. “He has now won 15 matches in a row and only lost three sets, so he has only allowed himself very few periods of weakness.
“He is in the shape of his life.”
Alexander Zverev bei den US Open
Image credit: Getty Images
And speaking to Eurosport, Zverev’s brother Mischa agreed that Alexander is playing ‘incredible tennis’.
“I think he’s at a very high level,” he said.
It’s hard to decide whether he’s playing better now than the Olympics or not. But I think he’s playing incredible tennis, he’s had 15 wins in a row.
Zverev could face world number one Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals in New York if both progress. And Mischa says that to beat first Harris and then Djokovic his brother must focus on his consistent strengths.
“He has to do what he always does – serve big, first and second serve, use his backhand crosscourt and down the line, and use his heavy forehand, which I think has improved during the last 12 months. It’s really a weapon and he can really open up the court with it, whether it’s fast or really loopy with a lot of topspin.
“And his net game, it’s not like mine but it’s getting there,” Mischa added with a smile.
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“He hates to lose his serve,” Mischa continued. “If he loses one service game in a whole match and makes three double-faults he’ll leave the court saying ‘we need to go and practice because my serve was terrible’. So yes, his serve is a big part of all the weapons he has and he loves serving clean and crisp.
“He’s a perfectionist. We used to hit backhands for a hour crosscourt, because he wasn’t happy if after 100 shots he missed one by a little bit. So he is a perfectionist, but that’s what makes him great.”
One of the features of the men’s side of the 2021 US Open is the absence of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
And, with the two legends of the sport missing, the draw will open up plenty of possibilities should a player be able to beat tournament favourite Djokovic.
“I’m sure he’s looked at the draw and knows what’s awaiting him,” Mischa said of a possible Zverev v Djokovic semi-final.
“But at the moment, he’s so professional and he lives in the present. His next match is against Harris, so I don’t think he’ll be thinking about it [a semi-final] too much at the moment.”
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Source: Euro Sports