Alexander Zverev continued his quest for a first Grand Slam title with a straight-sets win over Tennys Sandgren in the Wimbledon second round on Thursday. And after the match, Zverev expressed hope of improving his play even further as he gets to the business end of the tournament.
The German served and returned imperiously against Sandgren, while also displaying strong skills at the net. But while he was satisfied with the manner of his win over the American, Zverev pointed out that the level of competition was bound to get higher as the tournament wore on.
"I think it is not common to have games like this, but I feel pretty good," Zverev said. "Of course, I know that the rivals are going to become more difficult as the tournament goes on, and that is why I need to play better, and I hope to continue increasing my level."
Alexander Zverev went on to mention the difficulty of facing players like Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, who force their opponents to find a higher gear in the big matches.
"It's a natural situation where I know my opponents are going to improve as well," Zverev said. "If you play against Novak (Djokovic) or against (Rafael) Nadal, and you raise the level, they will also raise it to make it a more competitive duel."
The 24-year-old is aware that to be the best you have to play your sharpest tennis when it matters the most. Zverev acknowledged that his upcoming opponents may force him out of his comfort zone, and that he needs to be prepared for all kinds of possibilities in the second week.
"The best players always raise their levels in the second week, and hopefully I can be one of them," Zverev said. "For a second round, I played more than decent tennis, but other tennis players will not let me play this way and will try to cut me off and make me feel uncomfortable. That is when I will have to step forward."
While Alexander Zverev may have made a promising start to his campaign, defending champion Novak Djokovic is still the man to beat at Wimbledon. And the German admitted that to challenge Djokovic, he needs to improve his movement on grass.
That said, Zverev is still hopeful that he can compete for his first Major title this fortnight.
"It is no secret that Novak is the favourite, but I am at a stage where I am going to a tournament to win it," Zverev said. "Young people (like me) still need to learn to move better on grass. Anyway, I'm not satisfied with a quarterfinal or a semifinal anymore since I came to London to compete, and I want to have a chance to try (winning) it."
Alexander Zverev will next take on the winner of the all-American second-round match between Taylor Fritz and Steve Johnson, which is currently underway.