Boris Becker admits he is a bit concerned about Alexander Zverev as he feels the German is now probably a step behind the likes of Carlos Alcaraz, Holger Rune and Taylor Fritz. Around this time 12 months ago, Zverev made the Madrid Masters final and reached the French Open semifinal before suffering a terrifying ankle injury and missing the entire second half of the 2022 season.
Zverev, who returned to action at the start of the 2023 season, is 12/12 on the season and he is evidently not even close to his best tennis. While Zverev was sidelined, several rising stars elevated their games to a new level.
12 months ago, Zverev was a top-3 player and among the best players in the game. Now, Zverev is struggling with his form and confidence.
Becker on his concerns about Zverev
“I think he’s 100% healthy and has confidence in his ankle – and that physically he could play through every match if he could play more.
I think that’s the bigger problem. Tennis changes every 18 months. That means you always have to improve accordingly. You get the impression that he hasn’t improved and the opponents know exactly how they have to play against Sascha in 2023.
That is a problem! You want to win free points and create surprise moments. I watched the match against Alcaraz: it was two worlds. A year ago, he beat Alcaraz in Paris and was on his way to beating the unbeatable Nadal, and possibly Ruud in the final.
Sascha would have become the new No. 1. That’s in the past, and 12 months later, the stark reality is brutal. That’s the sport. He is fit again but can’t manage to match the form he had a year ago. There are many reasons for that. What is important, and he is always extremely self-critical, is that he realises this, that he is honest with himself and doesn’t blame bad luck, bad fortune, wind or too hot a sun – but the fact that he doesn’t play enough.
I am sure he will address this in his team and then also train better again. In my opinion, Zverev is not playing tennis properly at the moment,” Becker told Eurosport Germany’s Das Gelbe vom Ball podcast. Zverev is defending semifinal points at the Rome Masters and French Open. If Zverev loses early in Rome and Roland Garros, he could exit the top-100 in a month.