Alez Zverev is a man with plenty of potential. We have seen that on the tour as he has propelled himself high up the rankings to a high of number three of late and has three Masters 1000 titles to his name. The challenge is to replicate this form into majors.
Why can’t Zverev find the wins on the biggest stage?
Of his 14 defeats on the tour this season he has lost 6 of those matches after winning the first set. Since the start of 2017 in his 8 Grand Slam losses he has won the first set on 5 occasions.
Ivan Lendl is here for ideas and he will bring plenty of them, the changes he will look to make could just be simple improvements which we may not notice at first but it will become noticeable as time goes on.
Lendl would have watched his loss to Kohlschreiber and pick it apart in detail.
There were things I picked up on and he will need to want to have to adapt his game as well.
One of them is moving away from the backhand and using a backhand slice.
Image Credit – US Open
We can see above even when Zverev is stretched on the court when the ball gets sent to the backhand corner he still opts for the two hander but the issue is the better the angle from his opponent and the speed of the ball coming towards him he can’t send back with interest.
Where as if he had a sliced backhand it does so much. Takes the pace off the ball, drops deep on the court and comes back to the opponent with no interest and literally nothing to work with where as if he continues persisting with the backhand one of his best shots will become a weakness as using it on the defensive ends up setting up an invitation for the other player.
Another change I’d like to see him implement is a bit more variety on the forehand. The changes he helped bring to Andy Murray’s forehand was exceptional. It was small margins but it took that shot to the next level. The speed of the shot went up and that came with the belief he had to step in and continue with it stepping up and using the inside forehand to penetrate more where as a baseline forehand can be a bit weak and flat.
Image Credit – US Open
This will be so interesting to see what happens. Like I said Zverev will need to want to adapt and we know Ivan Lendl what he also brings to the box, no nonsense and no reaction to players behaviour as he knows what it is like