It’s amazing what happiness and confidence does to a player.
Going into the Laver Cup in Geneva the German looked out of sorts with his season. A season where a kick on was expected but off court issues have stolen the headlines in what has been a difficult year for Sascha Zverev.
Laver Cup has done him a big favour.
He looked happy and confident again. He had fun and once again won the decider in the event to win the trophy for Team Europe.
The overall happiness and confidence he has found has transcended on the tour in Beijing. He hasn’t gone and beaten the best but has played with confidence.
Zverev saw off Frances Tiafoe 6-3 6-2 and Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3 6-1 in the opening couple of rounds. Quarter finals he won 7-6 6-2 against Sam Querrey to book his place in the final four.
Not only does he look confident and more happy but he has found his basics again.
Back in April in Miami (against Ferrer) in a piece I wrote I said;
I didn’t really get what Zverev was doing. He was behind the baseline and just hitting the ball without what felt like any conviction.
One thing I found from that performance is he didn’t trust his game.
This was where he was playing his game back in April, May, June and July. With a lack of confidence and issues going on the safest thing to do is to drop but you can’t be effective the way he wants to play by just camping.
It was an awkward watch and one I’d describe as playing the game as a kid ‘stuck in the mud’ you weren’t free to move.
Now, he’s still deep but is hitting the ball cleaner and with more confidence he gains control of rallies and progressively works his way up the court to finish the point whether it is from the baseline or coming in closer towards the net.
Back in Miami he was playing a lot into open space to give himself more a chance but now that trust looks back in his game he is not afraid to land the ball at your feet.