was asked As Rafael Nadal in the last year to assess Alexander Zverev, he continued his entire Tennis Expertise. “When Sascha’s not playing in the next two years at Grand Slams well,” said the world ranked Second, “then you can come to me and say: ‘You have no idea of Tennis.'”

In terms of expertise you do not like to argue with Nadal, the man is, after all, 17-time winner of the biggest tournaments in the world. He knows under what circumstances they are to win. And a reason to Complain, it should have at Alexander Zverev anyway.

Hamburg won in the past two years, three Masters Events, the biggest tournaments after the Grand Slams. He won against Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. He finished two Times in a row, the season among the Top five, in the meantime, he stand at rank three. At the ATP Finals in 2018, the unofficial world championship, triumphed. And with only 21 years of age.

Boris Becker pushes it to the concentration

Only at the Grand Slams there are problems with Zverev. A Contradiction In Terms? Boris Becker won at the age of 17 at Wimbledon and Nadal at the age of 19 in Paris, but the time of miracles children is over. Tennis has become more athletic, to a crucial physical Constitution, you can’t have a Teenager yet.

in Addition, in the case of the Grand Slam tournaments, a lot different. 128 players are in the field. You play best of seven Matches to three sets of within 14 days. Everything is bigger, gigantic, important. The media interest is huge, the four Majors as different as day and night: The Australian Open are hot, the French Open, tight, Wimbledon is quiet, the US Open is loud.

A Grand-Slam tournament, it solves and simplifies formulated by progresses with as little effort as possible through the tournament. You want to play then for the title, you must not apply in the first week to a lot of power. If a regular ATP event is a Sprint, then a Grand-Slam tournament is a Marathon.

Roger Federer knows

And Zverev went out on the distance and mentally exhausted. It’s all a question of concentration, says Boris Becker. “It is for a younger player more and more difficult to keep the concentration over two weeks. It is in the nature of things. Younger people can focus heavier than older.”

Zverev is the First with the “Grand Slam” Roger Federer, with 20 Grand Slam titles now won a record took time, until he had figured out what it takes. He was 19 in the Wimbledon quarter-finals, his first victory, he repeated two years later. In the meantime, he suffered bitter defeats.

Federer is his experience. As Zverev in the last Australian Open was failed in round three, took him aside by the Swiss: “I said to him, Be patient. Put yourself under unnecessary pressure.” He advised Zverev, first of all, in the direction of the district and not to look the semi-finals, regardless of the title.

“It’s a couple of unfortunate moments”

At the next Major, the French Open, were Zverev did as commanded: He shot three Times with a 1:2 behind and came for the first time in a Grand Slam quarter-final. There he was subject to the Austrian Dominic Thiem. At Wimbledon and at the US Open early on, however, was again closing.

Raised on his Grand Slam-the balance sheet, played down Zverev: “There were a couple of unfortunate moments,” he said. “I’ve played at the French Open well and then you hurt me. In Wimbledon I wasn’t prepared because of the injury. At the US Open I had a bad Match – that’s what happens.”

The year 2018 finished Zverev with a Bang: He won the ATP Finals in London with an outstanding final match against Novak Djokovic. Whether the world championship title gives the necessary thrust on a Major level? Possible, but not sure. Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov “Baby Fed” baptized, won 2017 in London; 2018 expected experts first Grand Slam title. Dimitrov broke but, he flew to the end of the year from the Top 20.

Rafael Nadal looks at the matter pragmatically

Zverevs start to the season at the Hopman Cup went through to grow, while Training for Melbourne, he was injured on the thigh, two days later, on foot. “The ankle is okay,” he pacified, however, on Saturday. “There is nothing that can get worse.”

His opening match denies Zverev in the night to Tuesday (4 PM CET) against the Slovenians Aljaz Bedene, the number 67 in the rankings. In round three of the unpleasant Gilles Simon could wait, in a semi-final – times – and Novak Djokovic thought. Zverev wants to make, according to Federer, no pressure. “I am here, never more than in round three to come, so let’s see. I want to have fun, in the largest stadiums in the big Matches to play.”

And maybe the whole thing is also quite simple. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s three or five sets. Tennis stays Tennis” Rafael Nadal. Why Zverev in the long term in the Majors will strike? “Best-of-Five is even a advantage for the best players,” said the Spaniard. “And Sasha is one of them.”

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.