Zverev – No.1 in the race, Grand Slam pressure & 2018 improvement

Alex Zverev is in the form of his life. The 21 year old recently picked up his 3rd Masters 1000 title in Madrid and came close to picking up a fourth leading Nadal 3-1 in the final set of Rome before a rain delay. With a recent win/loss of 16-2 this has seen the German rise to number one in the race for London and will be seeded number two at Roland Garros but now he needs to do it in a major.

Alex Zverev has never made it past the 4th round of a Grand Slam reaching that stage at Wimbledon last year. His Roland Garros record isn’t great with a win/loss of 2/2 so there is some pressure on the German to perform on the biggest stage!

At just the age of 21 year his game has come on leaps and bounds this year and it is scary how good he has been and despite the level he is currently playing at there is still room for improvement which is even more scarier.

So let’s have a quick look..

Forehand

This is his bread and butter shot. He is comfortable with this shot and there is nothing wrong with comfort but maybe he does need to let loose on it at times.

zverev fh

Image Credit – ATP

You may look at this and think there is a lot of lines and two Zverev’s but it will all fall together. The yellow lines are what Zverev goes for. The inside out forehand on the left he backs off and flattens it out usually cross court or down the middle but the red line is showing an option of going back inside which we don’t see much of but could?

The second forehand is a more defensive position but he can hit it behind the baseline, on or in front using the height and top spin to create angles and open up the court which he has improved a lot. Could the next step be to hit the forehand up the line?

The backhand is more of a you know what you are going to get shot.

AZ 1

Image Credit – ATP

The backhand does remind me of the way Novak and Andy hit theirs. Once they get a moment and the ball sits up they can go for the winners down the line and cross court!

He is good at picking off these winners but also isn’t afraid to get involved in those crosscourt backhand rallies where he is so dangerous.

I do feel like the pressure is there to perform at a major. It’s an odd one as in the group of players trying to break into the very top he has got there but unlike Thiem, Dimitrov etc… he hasn’t done it at a Grand Slam yet.

Pressure? Of course but he won’t play Nadal until the final at least which does give him some let up but with Novak hanging around the draw further down than usual there are most likely going to be many early obstacles for everyone!

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