Alexander Zverev lays down strict conditions for his tennis return after horror ankle tear

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Tennis World No.2 Alexander Zverev has insisted he will return to action only when he feels ready to go and win a tournament. The German tore several ankle ligaments during his French Open semi-final against Rafael Nadal and has been on the sidelines ever since. 

Nadal faced Casper Ruud in the Roland Garros final after Zverev was forced to retire against the Spaniard. His injury was brutal as his ankle gave way underneath his weight as he slid on the Parisian clay. 

Zverev is making encouraging progress after undergoing ankle surgery. However, it is still unclear whether he will compete at the US Open. 

“We haven’t decided on an exact date for my return yet,” Zverev told Eurosport Deutschland. “I want to win every tournament I play.

“That’s my character, I don’t go to events just to play. That’s why I will play when I feel: ‘I can win this tournament’.”

Zverev is looking to get his strength back and seeing him at the US Open is yet to be ruled out. He will hope to return at the Flushing Meadows tournament, as the furthest he has ever gotten at a Grand Slam came at the 2020 US Open when he reached the final. 

“The days are very long,” Zverev said. “You start very early and finish in the evening. 

“We do a lot of exercises, there are always new ones that are added permanently. The foot is treated, mobility is worked out, strength and stability are rebuilt.

“In some cases, normal walking and running are re-learned. I do sprint exercises in the water, training sessions on the treadmill and bicycle.” 

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Zverev was engaged in a tight contest against Nadal in the French Open when he sustained the horrifying injury. While suffering such an injury in a major semi-final is heartbreaking, Zverev insists injuries are simply part of sport.

“There are always dangers in professional sport, and even in everyday life you are exposed to dangers,” Zverev concluded. “My team and I work highly concentrated every day so that there are no problems. Of course, you want to train as much as possible, but you can’t overdo it. I have to listen very carefully to my body and know when I have reached my limits.

“I’m used to getting the maximum out of myself almost every day, whether in training or matches. Exceeding it now could be counterproductive.”

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