Dhe first appearance at the French Open since his severe ankle injury last year does not yet lead Alexander Zverev back to the place of the accident. Instead of on the Philippe-Chatrier court, the Olympic tennis champion will serve in the first round on Tuesday in the Simonne-Mathieu arena, the third largest in Paris. The duel with the South African Lloyd Harris should be a step on the way to old form for the 26-year-old.
“I’m no longer in the state I was in Australia,” said Zverev before the start of the tournament. At the Australian Open – the first Grand Slam tournament since the long compulsory break in 2022 – he had already failed in the second round this year. “I have to get better from match to match. You know that with me, in Grand Slams I like to start with unnecessary five-set matches. I have to do better than that.”
In the later rounds he could then appear again in the largest stadium of the French Open, where he twisted his ankle in the semifinals against Rafael Nadal last year and was then out for more than half a year. “It will be different when I first come back to the chatrier. Then it may be that there are other feelings for me, ”reported Zverev.
In the past Masters 1000 tournaments, Zverev failed in the round of 16. If he leaves the French Open early, there is a risk of a serious crash in the world rankings. “Now I’m healthy, now it’s just a matter of whether I can find my tennis. That depends only on me.”
At least against the world number 294. Harris doesn’t expect Zverev’s brother Mischa to have any problems. “I’m not that worried, it should be a relatively smooth story,” said the 35-year-old at Eurosport.