Boris Becker opens up on ‘disappointment’ with Alexander Zverev in cutting rant

Boris Becker has insisted that Alexander Zverev does not get the recognition he deserves in a frank interview discussing the 26-year-old’s career. Zverev has been in and around the world’s top 10 for much of his career and reached a career-high ranking of No 2 after reaching last year’s French Open semi-finals.

Zverev was beaten by Rafael Nadal on that occasion after retiring with a serious ankle injury, which kept him out of action for the rest of the season. He slipped to 12th in the rankings as a result but has since returned to the world’s top 10 after reaching another French Open semi-final and winning two ATP titles in Chengdu and Hamburg.

Becker was asked about Zverev in an interview with Eurosport and was quick to insist that his fellow German deserves more respect from ‘experts’. He also suggested that Zverev’s motivation to return from his injury may have stemmed from being overlooked despite earning his status as one of the sport’s top players.

“He plays with the motivation that comes from feeling undervalued, he wants to demonstrate that his best level is yet to come,” said Becker. “I think he doesn’t get the respect he deserves from the experts in the sport and I think his father is the right person to direct his career.”

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Zverev made a slow start to the year, exiting the Australian Open in the second round with a defeat at the hands of qualifier Michael Mmoh. However, he quickly managed to find his form to reach the last four at Roland Garros for the second time in a row but was beaten by Casper Ruud.

He went on to suffer a third-round exit at Wimbledon before embarking on a run to the US Open quarter-finals, which was abruptly ended by Carlos Alcaraz in straight sets. It remains to be seen whether Zverev will be able to keep improving in 2024, with the Hamburg native set to represent Germany at the United Cup before playing at the Australian Open.

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Zverev recently took to social media to reflect on his 2023 campaign after securing a year-end ranking of No 7 despite failing to reach the knockout stages at the ATP Finals. He expressed his disbelief at finishing as high as seventh despite his initial uncertainty over whether his injury would prevent him from getting back to his best.

He wrote on Instagram: “What a year! From having uncertainties whether I would ever come back to my level to finishing number seven in the world, winning two ATP Tour titles and making it to the ATP Finals. Thanks to everyone for the incredible support and for believing in me.”

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