In a recent interview with Eurosport, Mats Wilander said that Alexander Zverev doesn't possess the "qualities" of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, or Novak Djokovic. Pointing out that the German didn't play like a "top player" against Denis Shapovalov, Wilander predicted that Zverev would not be "dominating" the ATP tour like the Big 3 have.
“I don’t see the qualities in Zverev that I see in Novak Djokovic or Rafa Nadal or Roger Federer, yet. Sascha Zverev is not going to be dominating like them because emotionally today [against Shapovalov] I don’t think he was a top player, to be honest," said Wilander.
Shapovalov defeated Zverev in straight sets in the fourth round of the Australian Open on Sunday, shattering the German's hopes of winning a first Major and becoming World No. 1. Enjoying a first-serve win percentage of 77%, the Canadian won the match 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-3.
Wilander claimed that this generation will not have a "big four." Instead, there will be up to 10 players winning one Major each.
“There’s not going to be a big four in this generation. There are going to [be] seven, eight, nine, 10 guys that are going to win one of them. Sascha Zverev is one of them, Felix-Auger Aliassime, Matteo Berrettini," added the seven-time Grand Slam champion.
Meanwhile, Denis Shapovalov will square off against Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open on Tuesday.
Despite not rating him as highly as the Big 3, Mats Wilander believes that Zverev can achieve the World No. 1 ranking and win a maiden Slam this year. However, he stressed that the German needs to "figure out" why he failed to play good tennis against Shapovalov.
“They set the bar so high, these three, that we come to expect that’s what you have to do. It’s so tough to do... Zverev will find it I think. He will still be No 1. I think he will win a Slam this year. It just wasn’t a good day today and we need to figure out why," concluded Wilander.
Following his defeat at the hands of Shapovalov at the Australian Open, Alexander Zverev will drop 190 points in the ATP rankings.
Although the German reached the US Open Final in 2020, he has never beaten a top-10 player at a Slam.