Australian Open: Zverev failed in the round of 16

Status: 01/23/2022 09:43 a.m

Alexander Zverev failed surprisingly early in the round of 16 at the Australian Open against Denis Shapovalov and has to wait for his first Grand Slam title.

The German number one lost on Sunday (January 23, 2022) against the Canadian seeded number 14 after 2:21 hours in three sets with 3: 6, 6: 7, 3: 6. The last German tennis professional left in Melbourne was eliminated in singles.

Zverev with a mysterious appearance

Zverev gave up puzzles when he lost and didn’t find his game at all from the start. Shapovalov, number 14 in the world rankings, also showed fluctuations, repeatedly weakened in service, but Zverev was unable to take advantage of this.

Zverev did not live up to his claims of achieving a Grand Slam triumph this year in Australia. Because the Serbian world number one and record champion Novak Djokovic was not allowed to compete due to his canceled visa, Zverev’s chances had increased – even if the Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal would have been waiting in the quarterfinals.

But the third in the world rankings lacked the usual security with the basic strokes against Shapovalov. There was no sign of the self-confidence that had characterized him in the final months of last season after his gold medal in Tokyo.

Zverev struggles with the afternoon heat and with his own weaknesses

In his first match, which started in hot Melbourne in the afternoon, Zvervev played incorrectly and seemed sluggish. He conceded the break to make it 1:3 and fell behind 1:4. During the change of sides, he put a cooling ice towel over his shoulders. The 3:6 meant losing the first set in the tournament. The Hamburger had won all three previous games in three sets.

Zverev started the second set with a superfluous forehand mistake and a double fault. Immediately he had two breakballs against him again. When he fended them off, he let out a loud “Come on”. Almost a little as if he had to realize that it was about entering a Grand Slam quarterfinals. But: The next double fault and the next loss of service followed.

Zverev hacked his racket three times on the ground, made him unfit to play and received a warning. The outburst of anger seemed only a matter of time. But it didn’t get any better: Zverev made wrong decisions in the rally, he didn’t hit some balls correctly and acted too passively.

Symbolic: When he himself had a break chance to make it 2:2, he hit the return with the racket frame. The ball landed on the upper rows of spectators. Zverev then used the next break chance. But the fact that he stayed in the game was more due to Shapovalov’s lack of consistency. Zverev lost a 5: 3 lead in the second set. The number three in the world kept looking questioningly at his team.

Shapovalov anything but outstanding

The loss of the second set is also characteristic of the uncertain performance: left-hander Shapovalov made a double mistake on his first set ball. But instead of equalizing with his own serve to make it 6: 6, Zverev came up with a completely unsuccessful frame ball.

“He gave the opponent time and too much space. He has to create more pressure,” said “Eurosport” expert Boris Becker after the lost tie-break, which was something like the preliminary decision. But the third set also began with a quick loss of service. Shapovalov showed no more weaknesses and brought the match home.

Out for Krawietz/Mies

The successful German doubles Kevin Krawietz/Andreas Mies also experienced the disappointing end: The two-time French Open winners lost to the Australian-Slovakian team John Peers/Filip Polasek in just 65 minutes on Sunday 1: 6, 2: 6 and missed out on reaching the quarterfinals.

Krawietz and Mies, who were seeded at twelve, competed together in a Grand Slam tournament in Melbourne for the first time since winning the title in Roland Garros in 2020. The “KraMies” celebrated their comeback after more than a year last week at the ATP tournament in Sydney, where they reached the semifinals.

In Melbourne, the tennis professionals had only competed together in 2020 and failed in the first round, now it was over in the round of 16. This means that there is only one German professional in the men’s doubles competition in Frankfurt’s Tim Pütz. The 34-year-old is in the quarter-finals with New Zealand’s Michael Venus after Australia’s Christopher O’Connell/Jason Kubler retired.


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