VIDEO: Watch Mischa and a 14-year-old Alexander Zverev in this blast from the past
Now, he is considered by many to be the ‘next big thing’, and 19-year-old Alexander Zverev has proven all his supporters right with his meteoric rise up the rankings this year. Once the youngest player in the ATP top 50, ‘Sascha’ is now ranked 21st in the world.
The young player took his first ever ATP Tour Level title this year with a win at the St. Petersburg Open – and even more remarkably so, won the title with a victory over a fit, in-form Stan Wawrinka, fresh off his own maiden US Open Tennis Championships victory.
The clip, which focuses on a then 24-year-old Mischa, whose full name is Mikhail, also features his younger brother and the pair’s mother, Irina. The pair’s father, Alexander Zverev Sr, was also a tennis professional, but did not have the successes of his sons.
Irina Zvereva, who was also a WTA professional, says she “always saw” the potential in both children, “and that is why we invested in our children, time and money.”
Now, both brothers have put in strong performances – with Alexander losing in a well-fought match to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, taking a set off his higher-ranked rival and looking in the fight until the end of the final set.
Mischa beat Nick Kyrgios in his own opener, going on to lose to Novak Djokovic, but not before scalping a set off the World No. 1 and up a break on the Serb, taking him to a tiebreak in the second before Djokovic eventually took the third set and the match.
The Zverev brothers have said they “may be different, but share the same goal.” They are the only currently active brothers who have both been in the ATP top 100 ranks – with younger brother Alexander ‘Sascha’ the higher ranked at 21, and Mischa, currently at 110 a career highest of 45th.
Interestingly, the video was recorded around the same time 5 years ago – just prior to the Shanghai Rolex Masters in 2011.