Alexander Zverev makes Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal injury comments

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Alexander Zverev has expressed his admiration for the way Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have managed to keep fighting through injuries over the course of their respective careers at the highest level. Zverev is currently in the process of recovering from a problem of his own after sustaining ankle ligament damage in the semi-finals of last year’s French Open but is hoping to get back to full fitness before returning to Roland Garros next month.

The German will be hoping to undergo the best possible warm-up for the next Grand Slam of the year by performing well at this week’s Monte Carlo Masters, where he will face Alexander Bublik in the first round on Tuesday morning. Zverev has pointed to the winning mentality of Federer and Nadal as a source of inspiration as he looks to overcome his own injury problems, with the aforementioned duo having dealt with plenty of setbacks during their spells at the top.

“Rafa and Roger are different, they come back from injury and they start winning tournaments immediately,” Zverev told Eurosport. “I don’t know how they do that, but they’ve been doing it for 20 years now. I needed time but I think also my injury was maybe a little bit different.

“I was not able to walk really for two months. You have to learn your movements again, you have to learn how to walk again, you have to learn how to run again. These are all factors that may play a little bit of a part in tennis, but you can’t compare Rafa to me because Rafa comes back and starts winning and not only winning against everyone but beating them 6-0 6-1 6-2.”

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It remains to be seen whether Zverev will be able to follow in the footsteps of Federer and Nadal by making a quick return to his best form ahead of the French Open, where he will be hoping to steer clear of another injury-hit campaign later this year. He went on to explain that he is not a million miles away from reaching his previous levels after performing strongly in Dubai two months ago and then again at Indian Wells.

“I feel like I played amazing tennis in Dubai,” he said. “I feel like I played very good tennis at the Indian Wells, as well. Maybe if I go through that [Daniil] Medvedev match in Indian Wells, maybe I’m in the final there. I played a final against [Carlos] Alcaraz so who knows what happens there?

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“So maybe one or two points away from being at my best. You can be at your best in practice, you can be at your best you know on the match court in certain situations, but you have to win those matches to feel like you’re completely back. I feel like that’s the only thing missing right now.”

Zverev will also be competing in the doubles tournament in Monte Carlo this week alongside partner Marcelo Melo and will be desperate to get some much-needed sharpness under his belt by going deep into the latter stages of the event. The 25-year-old is also looking to climb back into the world’s top 10 after dropping out in November and will only be able to do so by continuing to raise the standards over the coming weeks and months.

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