Back in August of last year Sascha Zverev added Ivan Lendl to his team.
The 59 year old was an eight time major winner in his career and worked with Andy Murray a while back helping take his game to the next level.
After 10 months of Sascha and Lendl I’m struggling to see what has actually happened…
His Grand Slam record is relatively poor. He’s made the quarter finals in Paris on consecutive years now but on both occasions has crashed out pretty routinely in straight sets to Djokovic this year and Thiem last year.
He does have 3 Masters 1000 titles to his name and in London last year won the tour finals but I feel like we’ve gone backwards.
First major working together in New York he crashed out as well in four sets to Kohlschreiber but I was confused what I was watching and the same goes in Melbourne at the beginning of the year.
Consistent form is a problem. 8 top ten ranked wins last year is good but they came at three tournaments so what else was going on?
Throughout the season I’ve been confused at what I have been watching and I will come onto that in a minute.
Sascha has been in bad form coming into Paris this year and he’s not hidden that fact as well saying the Tsitsipas’ form has meant everyone has taken the focus off him.
Following his exit from Miami this would have been the perfect opportunity to go to a practice court with Lendl and get some work done especially on his forehand.
Instead he knocked around in Marrakech, Monte-Carlo, Munich, Rome, Madrid, Barcelona and Geneva before ending up in Paris with no time away from matches to work on anything.
He won the title in Geneva which is good for confidence but did it help his Roland Garros? He scrapped through some rounds and then got bulldozed in the quarter finals.
Listening to Jim Courier commentating on ITV 4 for his match against Djokovic he did say that Lendl was due to link up with Sascha before Roland Garros to train.
Sascha made a decision quite late to go to Geneva which meant that instead of a week training block before Roland Garros they would only have a day so he didn’t come. Jim said he has spoken to Ivan and he is due to come into Europe soon for the grass season.
In my view Sascha has played too much since Miami and has he benefited?
I said earlier on I haven’t understood what I am watching at times.
The backhand is the backhand which we know but his court position is confusing me. He seems to have gotten into the habit of creeping behind the baseline, lacking the game to be competitive and losing matches.
We saw it against Novak in Paris he continued to creep further and further back and he got walked all over.
Is the reason he is dropping back a lack of trust and confidence in his game when things aren’t going right? We know the forehand down the line needs some work and maybe an implementation of a more inside-out forehand but right now I’m struggling to see much improvement over this 10 months.
If as expected Lendl will team up with him either in Halle or before Wimbledon there is work to do.