If you had to describe Alexander Zverev’s year so far in the form of a movie title, what would the most apt choice be? One title that immediately comes to mind is ‘The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly’, in view of the German’s adventures both on and off the court.
No matter what title you pick though, what is certain is that Alexander Zverev’s year has been nothing short of a cinematic experience. There have been high doses of drama, comedy, tragedy and unfortunately, even violence involved.
While Zverev might disagree with some of these points, he does think that his life in 2020 has been dramatic enough to be converted to reel. Speaking to the press after losing to Novak Djokovic at the Nitto ATP Finals and thus being knocked out of the tournament, the German acknowledged the tumultuous nature of his year.
"You could make a film out of my year,” Zverev said. “I went through more things than in a normal year. My year was very interesting.”
The ‘good’ part of the German's year has undoubtedly been his tennis, especially since the resumption of the tour. Alexander Zverev first made his maiden Grand Slam final at the US Open, losing narrowly to Dominic Thiem. He then went on to win twin titles at Cologne, before reaching the final at the recently concluded Paris Masters.
The World No. 7 finished the year with a 28-11 win-loss record, two titles, a Slam runner-up finish and a Slam semifinal (at the Australian Open), which is a pretty decent haul given the kind of year we've had.
Some would argue that the news of Brenda Patea - Zverev’s most recent ex-girlfriend - expecting his child could also be included in the ‘good’ bit. But with a potential custody battle looming, it would be interesting to see how that one turns out.
The rest of his year - mostly surrounding domestic abuse allegations - quite easily fall into the ‘bad and ugly’ category. Alexander Zverev has, in case you hadn't heard, been accused of repeated acts of violence against his ex-girlfriend Olya Sharypova.
Alexander Zverev, his agency (Team8) and ATP have expectedly been downplaying and outright negating the allegations. They seem to be in no mood to give any details of the story despite countless questions being asked all around.
There seems to be an air of silence around the entire issue, and for many fans and journalists, that silence has been excruciatingly loud.
Zverev's peers have also been surprisingly mum on the topic. In his press conference, the German revealed that his fellow players have been treating him the way they always have.
“Other players (how they have treated him)? They've been fine to me (laughs),” Zverev said. “That won't change, they know what's going on.”
The German was also asked if he intended to take any action to clear his name of the allegations, to which he replied in the negative.
"What else can I say? I have said everything I can," Zverev said. "You know, it's very unfortunate that these kind of false allegations can put such damage and put the attention away from the sport or towards those, but it's the world we live in right now unfortunately. Yeah, there is nothing more that I can do."
Novak Djokovic served incredibly well: Alexander Zverev
Speaking about his match against Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev elaborated on his return of serve troubles, and how he eventually took a few steps back to deal with Djokovic’s delivery.
The German managed to win just 48% of his second serve returns, and 22% on the first serve return. Novak Djokovic was especially clutch in the second set tiebreak, serving up a series of gigantic first serves to leave the German reeling.
“Novak Djokovic served incredibly well I thought today,” Zverev said. "I had to go very far back to return his serve. I started to play very well in the 2nd set but credits to him.”