Zverev’s goals for 2022: Grand Slam title and number one

On the second day of the new year, Alexander Zverev is already faced with a challenge again. The Olympic champion from Germany is at the start of the ATP Cup.

Olympic tennis champion

Sydney (AP) – Ten days – Alexander Zverev didn’t allow himself long without a tennis racket during the short break.

After his triumph in the ATP Finals, the Olympic champion traveled by jet to the Maldives with his girlfriend Sophia Thomalla and part of his family, but shortly afterwards he started third in the world rankings again in preparation for the new season. Because although Zverev has played the most successful year of his career so far, the 24-year-old is far from satisfied.

Number one in the world in sight

Rather, Zverev has big plans for 2022. “I have two goals ahead of me: of course, win a Grand Slam and become number one in the world,” said the Hamburg man. Already at the Australian Open, which begins on January 17, he has both in mind.

If current number one Novak Djokovic doesn’t actually start in Melbourne due to the required full coronavirus vaccination, Zverev could push the nine-time Melbourne winner down from the top of the world rankings in the event of his first Grand Slam. qualification. “In Australia I have the opportunity to achieve both at the same time. So I hope it works there, ”Zverev said.

Home beim ATP Cup

Djokovic has so far not commented on his vaccination status and canceled his participation in the ATP Cup, which begins on New Year’s Day. Zverev has already arrived in Sydney. Together with Jan-Lennard Struff, Kevin Krawietz, Tim Pütz and Yannick Hanfmann, he will participate in the third edition of the contest for Germany. The focus is not on the title with the team, but on the optimal preparation for the Australian Open.

«I want to start the year well. I want to stay in shape and maybe get in better shape, ”Zverev said for the last time in an interview with Sky. Since his disappointing knockout in the round of 16 at Wimbledon in June, he has only lost four games, in addition to gold at the Olympics, he has also won tournaments in Cincinnati, Vienna and the ATP finals. “I can’t play tennis much better than in the last six months,” Zverev said.

Hard training in Monte Carlo

And yet he worked hard again to prepare in Monte Carlo. Several hours in the gym, a lot of time on the court: Zverev has spared no effort despite numerous nominations, such as the “Sportsman of the Year” award. “During this time, the foundation is laid,” said tennis legend Boris Becker. “I think Novak, Daniil (Medvedev) and Sascha (Zverev) will also dominate next year.”

In Sydney, Zverev will see how well the new year starts. In the opening match against Great Britain on Sunday, the German number one faces the world number 12. Cameron Norrie. Before that, Struff and Daniel Evans face each other. “We have a good group. They were in the semi-finals of the Davis Cup and I didn’t play, ”Zverev said of the ATP Cup chances. “We have a good pair and a good number twos at Jan-Lennard. I think we have a very good chance. “Other opponents are the United States and Canada. Only the winners of the four preliminary round groups make it to the semifinals.

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