Alexander Zverev is looking forward to the tennis tournament in Halle (Westphalia). In an interview with Sportschau, Zverev talks about his current form, the toughest year of his career, and a special wish.
Sportschau: Alexander Zverev, after your serious injury last year, it was unclear for a long time whether you could even return to your previous level. You reached the semi-finals at the French Open. What are your impressions coming to Halle now?
Alexander Zverev: "I'm happy with my form. I'm playing well, everything is okay. Now I'm able to come to a tournament and say that I can and want to win it."
Sportschau: You can now stand here on the tennis court, confidently expressing your goals. The serious injury last year, the uncertainty afterwards, it was an emotional roller-coaster ride. When you think about it, what goes through your mind?
Zverev: "Nothing now. That was a year ago. I felt like reaching the semi-finals in Paris was a turning point for me. I'm here now, and I'm close to breaking into the top 20 in the world rankings."
Playing in Halle
Sportschau: Halle celebrates its 30th anniversary, with over 100,000 visitors coming here every year for the German Wimbledon. How does it feel for you to play here?
Zverev: "I'm always excited about this tournament. The stadium is usually sold out, and the fans are incredible. This is definitely a tournament I look forward to."
Importance of Halle
Sportschau: What is its sporting significance for you, in particular?
Zverev: "Halle is the biggest tournament we have in Germany now. Every year, there's a top lineup on the court. That's why I think many players will compete for the title and want to show their best tennis here."
Tennis in Germany
Sportschau: The tennis world has been avoiding Germany for years. The biggest and most important tournaments take place elsewhere. Oscar Otte recently said that he would be happy if there were more tennis tournaments in Germany.
Zverev: "I would be thrilled if we had a huge tournament in Germany again, like a 1,000 Masters Tournament. It's the largest country in Europe in terms of population. I think Germany needs this stage, and tennis needs it. Not just me, every German player would be happy about a Masters Tournament."
Grass Court Challenge
Sportschau: Grass is not your favorite surface. Your Wimbledon run usually lasted until the round of 16. How would you describe your relationship with the grass court - is it a love-hate relationship?
Zverev: "I've played in the final twice in Halle, but usually I only play two grass tournaments a year, here and at Wimbledon. That's why it's not easy for me. But I'm sure that I'll win a tournament on grass someday. Let's see how it goes on this surface over the next few years."