March 31, 2023

Zverev to Play Exhibitions Before Australian Open Return

Alexander Zverev is putting his best foot forward in preparation for his comeback.

The 25-year-old German, who has been sidelined since undergoing surgery for a horrific right ankle injury he suffered in the Roland Garros semifinals vs. Rafa Nadal last spring, is back on court and training.

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Mischa Zverev, Alexander Zverev’s older brother, told Eurosport Germany the former world No. 2 is pain-free and training in preparation for the 2023 season.

“We were able to train last week,” he told Eurosport Germany. “On Monday, we were even able to play a little longer. So far he’s pain-free and feels good. He just needs a few matches before the big season.

“Since the great match against Nadal—unfortunately with a bitter end—he has not been able to play any games. That is why we signed up for a couple of exhibition tournaments.”

The Australian Open is set for January 16-29th. That gives Zverev a little more than two months to prepare. Alexander Zverev announced last week he will play the Dubai exhibition event in December.

Mischa Zverev says Alexander Zverev aims plans to play the United Cup, the new international mixed team event featuring ATP and WTA stars playing on the same team, in January as preparation for the Melbourne major.

“Training sets at home without an audience are just something different. So you have to be on the court, against a top player, with ball boys and referees to feel the adrenaline again,” Mischa Zverev said. “What do you do when the score is 30-30? How do you behave on the second serve? You just have to test that again. Just like your foot.

“In Australia, he wants to start at the United Cup. Of course, he doesn’t miss that.”

Alexander Zverev reached the 2020 Australian Open semifinals and fell in the fourth round last January. 

Photo credit: Darren Carroll/USTA

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