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"Plenty of other examples, see Rafael Nadal or the Williams sisters" - Kiefer on why Alexander Zverev can succeed while working with family

Alexander Zverev and Mischa Zverev
Alexander Zverev and Mischa Zverev
Modified 21 Jan 2021

Alexander Zverev's recent decision to separate from Team8 and go back to work with his family has not come as a surprise to fellow German Nicolas Kiefer.

Earlier this week, the 23-year-old Alexander Zverev announced on social media that going forward his family would help him with his coaching. He also declared that Mischa Zverev and Sergei Bubka would take care of all his management duties.

Former World No. 3 David Ferrer had been coaching Zverev in recent months, but the pair announced their decision to go their separate ways a couple of weeks ago. And until this week's announcement, Zverev's management had been taken care of by Team8, the agency that Swiss legend Roger Federer and Tony Godsick have co-founded.

In that context, Nicolas Kiefer claimed that family has always been important to Alexander Zverev. The former World No. 4 added that it was understandable for Zverev to fall back on his family after the difficult 2020 season.

"Sascha (Alexander Zverev) has always been a family man. And that he now relies even more on his family is absolutely understandable for him and his character," Nicolas Kiefer said. "He's not making a mistake."

Kiefer also cited examples of other players working with their family members - Rafael Nadal with his uncle Toni Nadal, and the Williams sisters who were coached by their father from early childhood.

"He's still so young and has already achieved so much," added Kiefer. "There are plenty of other examples, see Rafael Nadel with his uncle Toni or Serena and Venus Williams."

The new team working with Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev poses with his father Alexander Zverev Sr., mother Irena Zverev and brother Mischa Zverev at the 2016 Australian Open
Alexander Zverev poses with his father Alexander Zverev Sr., mother Irena Zverev and brother Mischa Zverev at the 2016 Australian Open

Alexander Zverev's father, Alexander Zverev Sr., was a tennis player himself who peaked at No. 175 in the rankings (in 1985). His mother, Irina Zverev, also competed professionally.

Brother Mischa Zverev is a former top 25 player in singles and a former top 50 player in doubles. The 33-year-old Mischa is still active on the ATP tour and is currently ranked No. 269 in the world.

Meanwhile the 33-year-old Sergei Bubka is a former tennis pro and the son of the legendary pole vaulter Sergei Bubka. Bubka Sr. broke the world record for men's pole vault a staggering 35 times.

Published 21 Jan 2021, 13:36 IST
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