Alexander Zverev admitted he felt “dead” after finishing his second-round match shortly before 10pm local time at the Rolex Paris Masters and returning to the court less than 17 hours later. It comes after other players slammed scheduling in Paris-Bercy when Jannik Sinner finished his match at 2:37am and was set to return to the court in the last match of the day session before pulling out with fatigue.
Zverev crashed out to Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6(2) 6-4 on Thursday after contesting a three-hour and 29-minute epic against Ugo Humbert the night before. The 10th seed at the Paris Masters finished his previous match at 9:56pm local time and was back on court by 2:40pm the following day.
But he was no match for the world No 6, who fired down 10 aces en route to the quarter-final. After his defeat, Zverev admitted that he struggled after his late thriller against Humbert on Wednesday. “I’m dead. I think you could see that on the court,” the 26-year-old exclusively told Express Sport.
But the German said he couldn’t take issue with the scheduling after two other matches were staged even later than his on Wednesday. He continued: “Well I think it’s not up to me because there were also two other guys who finished even later so I understand the scheduling.
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“It’s not that but I played a lot, I played three sets the first day then another three sets of doubles the same day. Then three hours 40 yesterday so it’s not ideal preparation to play against someone like Tsitsipas.” Zverev’s comments come after several players and coaches hit out at the ATP when Sinner finished his own round of 32 match at 2:37am in the early hours of Thursday.
With Zverev’s match against Humbert delaying the night session on Wednesday, Holger Rune and Dominic Thiem took to the court at around 10:30pm local time, with the Dane winning just after midnight and Sinner contesting his match after. The Italian was scheduled to return in the final day session match on Thursday – which ultimately ended up starting at around 4pm – but withdrew citing fatigue.
As for Zverev, the world No 9 is waiting to see whether he will qualify for the season-ending ATP Finals after his loss to Tsitsipas hurt his chances. “I’m going to watch it, there’s nothing I can do anymore,” he said of the race to Turin.
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“I did everything I could I think especially the last four, five months. So I’m proud to be in the position that I am to be honest because four, five months ago I was nowhere near that. Of course I’ll be watching now.”
Zverev’s Wednesday night battle against Humbert came after his lawyers confirmed that he was contesting a court-issued penalty order for bodily harm against an ex-girlfriend. Zverev denies the charge and a Berlin court spokesperson said: “The presumption of innocence applies until a final conviction is made.”
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