World number four Alexander Zverev is striving to put himself in the best possible position to claim his maiden Grand Slam title in 2018 and the German won’t rest until he’s done just that.
Following a breakthrough year, in which the 20-year-old won five tournaments, broke into the top-10 for the first time and finished 2017 by making ATP Finals debut in London, Zverev is the undisputed leader of the pack when it comes to the NextGen stars.
And for Zverev, winning the Australian Open in Melbourne is firmly in his sights.
“This is the reason I think I play, this is the reason why I think most tennis players play… to compete and win at the biggest stages. Obviously, for us, the Grand Slams are, and that’s what every little kid dreams about, playing those. Once you play them you wanna win them,” Zverev told assembled media ahead of his participation in the Hopman Cup in Perth.
“It’s been a bit of a change in the last two years, when I came here before and I was 80 something in the world and now I’m number four. I’m happy with my improvement and the way I’ve kinda progressed but at the same time I don’t wanna stop here. This is not the goals reached yet.”
Injuries to Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have increased talk that next year will see the real start of a new era, with Zverev, along with Dominic Thiem, the two stars tipped to win majors soon.
However, the evergreen Roger Federer, a man Zverev beat in the Hopman Cup last year and could face again in this year’s tournament in western Australia, might have something to say about that.
While the ever-maturing Zverev seems very much at home in the limelight, he also cheekily admitted that we may still see the odd racquet-throwing incident, again, akin to John McEnroe in 2018.
“Everytime I break a racquet I compete and play better afterwards so I’m trying to make it less now but every once in a while it comes out,” he conceded.
Watch the full interview with Zverev in the video above.
Roger Federer enjoyed a trip to Rottnest Island ahead of his participation in the Hopman Cup in Perth in Western Australia.
Federer, who is partnering Belinda Bencic to represent Switzerland in the exhibition team competition, is looking to kick off his 2018 season in fine fashion ahead of his Australian Open title defence next month.
Watch the 19-time Grand Slam champion get acquainted with a bunch of quokkas on the island earlier this week.
Roger Federer begins his 2018 season at the Hopman Cup in Perth, where he is partnering Belinda Bencic representing Switzerland.
The 19-time Grand Slam champion will take to the court on Saturday against Japan, and he has already been practicing hard Down Under.
Check out highlights from his practice session in Perth on Thursday.