Alexander Zverev is one the most fit players his generation. He is tall, strong, and has a great backhand. However, at only 25 years old, he has yet to prove that he has the material to become the champion everyone predicted when he beat Roger Federer at Halle 2016. This tournament has been won ten times by the Swiss.
His Grand Slam record is poor compared to the expectations he set in 2017, which was the year of his first major wounds, the 1,000 Masters held in Rome and Canada. These titles showed his ability to adapt to clay and cement. His progression in the smaller tournaments did not translate into a similar path in the Grand Slams.
His first round of 16 was at Wimbledon 2017. He also reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros 2018. It wasn't until January 2020 that Zverev made it to the semifinals. Zverev failed to reach the final step in the second golden age of the "Big Three", despite falling at Wimbledon 2018 and London 2019. Zverev also won the Tokyo gold medal, ending Djokovic’s Golden Slam. However, he did not reply in the Majors.
He was unable to compete with the best because of his problems with the right. His problems off the track were numerous, which is not unusual for a professional athlete. The first was the allegations of abuse by Olga Sharypova his ex-girlfriend. This matter is still under investigation by the ATP.
Rafa Nadal is the winner of this 2022 despite his scandals. He reached the semi-finals of Monte Carlo and Rome, and lost the final at Madrid. He was visibly exhausted from the semi-final played the previous day until the early hours of the morning. He has a chance of being number one this year because of his momentum in the season.
Zverev will succeed Novak Djokovic as the top ATP player if he wins Paris. Daniil Medvedev will replace Zverev if he loses in either the semifinals or final. Zverev could be the first German to become number one since Boris Becker in September 1991. All this while having a Spaniard as his coach. Zverev's coach is Sergi Bruguera, which has brought him criticism for his combination of the Spanish Davis Cup coach and this job.
Zverev will be trying to end his curse this Friday at the Philippe chatrier. He had lost eleven times in 11 games against the top ten in Grand Slam. This was before his victory against Carlos Alcaraz in quarterfinals. It was the darkest point in his career. Djokovic stopped the German from reaching the Majors on three occasions. He was defeated by Dominic Thiem (3) and Stefanos Tsitsipas (1). Nadal (1), Milos Raonic (1) and Milos Raonic (1).
This Friday, he could turn the tables against Nadal, who has won six of his matches and four on clay against him. In the third round, 2017 Australian Open, the Spanish also retained the Grand Slam title.