August 7, 2018
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. As a young player, your first couple years you get adjusted to the physical toll, the mental. How much did you learn about yourself as a player from new strengths or new weaknesses that you may have not known before in the first couple years of your career? How much more is it about discovering yourself?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: For sure, every player, that's a change. It's a change from coming from the junior tour to this tour. There's no doubt about it.
But I think everybody has to go through it. Every great player has to go through it. So you guys have a few good, young Canadian guys who are going through it right now.
So I think this question is funny to me because, for me, this is a normal process that everybody has to kind of leave in the past.
And I've been on tour -- I'm 21 years old. I've been on tour for over four years now, and this is a long time for a 21-year-old. Not a lot of 21-years-olds were on tour for four years.
So I feel like I'm kind of past this period. Of course I'm still learning. I'm still trying to get better. I'll still trying to figure out ways to get better.
But for me, I'm way past the adjustment period.
Q. Speaking of spirit, can you recall the time when your desire to play tennis for fun and competition changed to that of a career or a job?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: It still hasn't changed.
Q. So you still play for fun?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: The moment I stop having fun on the court is the moment I'll stop playing. I'm not going to just take this as a job. I'm always going to take it as something I enjoy doing.
And the moment I won't have fun on the practice court, the moment I won't have fun with the process of getting better and the process of trying to improve, I'm not going to do it.
Q. What was the training block like from Wimbledon into the summer? What were you trying to work on in your game? And then did you feel like -- or do you feel like this summer is any different coming into this period last year where last year you had such great success in this span of the season?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I mean, the first week or so after Wimbledon I was working a lot on my tan line. I was on a boat in Monaco trying to work on that a lot. (Laughter.)
Then, after, I started doing physical training. I did 10 days of only physical in Monaco with Jez Green. And then, obviously, went to Florida for a few days before Washington and started playing tennis. That was kind of my period.
And, obviously, I played in Washington. You guys probably heard about that.
And then, yeah, what was the second question?
Q. Just how this summer feels different this year.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I mean, it feels different on a way that I'm the defending champion both weeks that I'm going to play, in Washington and in here.
In Washington, I defended my title, which I'm very happy about. Obviously, here I'm going to do everything I can to do the same. Obviously, great players here. You know, everybody is playing their absolute best. So we'll see how the week goes.
But I feel like last year everything was just the beginning and everything was like, you know, was not expected. This year it kind of, you know, everybody is expecting a little bit more from you, everybody is looking out for you more, and in that way it's different.
But in any other way, you still try to go out there and play tennis and try to be better than the guy on the opposite side of the net. That will not change in the next 15 years for me.
Q. Do you have any plans in the future to play doubles with your brother?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: For sure, yeah.
Q. Anytime in the near future?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I hope so. I mean, we played in Washington and then he unfortunately had to leave home. But, yeah, we always play in every opportunity that we get.
Q. You had kind words for Denis last year following your match and you said that you could potentially see a rivalry with him down the line and that you were very optimistic. In that moment and time, what did you see that made you kind of know not for sure but there was a pretty good chance that he was going to be successful?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I still think that. I still think that out of 98, 99's, he's the best one. I still think that. I think there's a few guys older that are very, very good as well.
But he's definitely a part of that group and I think in the future in the next, you know, he still has some development to do. No doubt about it. I still have some development to do. No doubt about it as well.
I think in the next three or four years this will change. And when we're all set in our games, I think that's going to be interesting.
Q. Everyone likes to be very focused and put together when you walk out on court, but do you have certain few things that you are very concerned with or very much want in place, mentally or physically, when you walk out onto court for a match?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I would like to have my racquets and my tennis bag to start with. That would be quite important for me.
But I am very far from superstitious guy. So I don't do all that. I think when you're superstitious, especially on court, you start being readable and you start, you know, kind of being predictable sometimes.
For example, Rafa, he's superstitious but his superstitions have nothing to do with tennis. They're all kind of away from tennis. They're never superstitions inside of his game. So whether he does it or not, it's his thing.
But when you're superstitious on the actual tennis court, I don't think it's a good thing.
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