"The anti-role model" - Pam Shriver furious over Alexander Zverev's 'tone deaf' comments at French Open
Alexander Zverev has found himself at the receiving end of criticism from former World No. 3 Pam Shriver, over his allegedly insensitive comment at the French Open 2023. Shriver made her remarks soon after Zverev's quarterfinal win on Wednesday.
The German player beat Tomas Etcheverry to qualify for his third consecutive Roland Garros semifinal. Zverev's campaign at last year's French Open was brought to an abrupt end after a horrifying injury forced him to retire mid-match against Rafael Nadal in the semifinals.
The World No. 27 beat Etcheveryy 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the quarterfinals on June 7 at Court Philippe Chatrier to book his place in the semis of the Paris Major. Etcheverry was hoping to become the lowest-ranked player and the first unseeded player to qualify for the Paris semifinals since World No. 72 Marco Cecchinato (2018). But his hopes were quashed by the resurgent Zverev.
In the on-court interview later, Alex Corretja asked the German what was on his mind during the exchange of sides just before he served for the match. Zverev replied:
"Yeah, I just have to remember that I have a pair of balls, as well, that I can use."
Reacting to the statement, Shriver expressed her anger and disgust at the former US Open finalist. The former American tennis player further said Alexander Zverev is an "anti-role model."
"Stupid, insensitive, pathetic, tone deaf, idiotic, impulsive, ignorant, and disgusting thing to say. The Anti Role Model is SZ (Sascha Zverev)," the American wrote on Twitter.
Alexander Zverev to face either Casper Ruud or Holger Rune in Roland Garros semifinals
On Friday, Alexander Zverev will lock horns with the winner of the Casper Ruud-Holger Rune clash. Zverev lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the 2021 semifinal while his 2022 appearance ended in a season-ending injury.
Speaking to the media after his match, the former World No. 2 reflected on how the conditions worked for him. He also expressed his happiness at qualifying for the semifinals.
"The conditions during the day are a lot better for me. The ball is a lot faster and bounces higher. I love to play on clay and day conditions are better... I am in the semi-finals at Roland Garros and I am happy about that."
The 26-year-old also talked about the previous year. Recalling his horrifying ankle injury at the French Open, Zverev said that he was glad "to be back at this stage."
"It was the most difficult year of my life, I love tennis with all my heart and the competitiveness that was taken away a year ago. I am so happy to be back at this stage," Alexander Zverev said.