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“He could learn a lot from Aryna Sabalenka” – Tennis analyst criticizes Alexander Zverev for refusing to work on “awful” second serve



Alexander Zverev spent six months on the sidelines as he recovered from a devastating ankle injury, which he suffered in the semifinals of the 2022 French Open.

Zverev, who is currently contesting the 2023 Dubai Tennis Championships, is now gearing up for his first semifinal just three months after returning from injury. Tennis analyst Gill Gross commended the German tennis player for making a significant physical recovery.

“Zverev – I agree he is moving well. Physically, looks pretty good,” Gross said on his ‘Monday Match Analysis’ podcast, “He seems to be getting better and better. Slow process.”

The analyst, however, mentioned that despite the progress, Zverev currently faces a few weaknesses, including uncharacteristic unforced errors and a below-par forehand.

“It’s taking some time for him to get confident on the forehand side. There’s no doubt about that. There are more, kind of sloppy, unforced errors than Zverev at his best should be throwing in,” he said.

Gill Gross was most disappointed to see Alexander Zverev continue with his poor win percentage on second serves. He voiced that it is high time that the former World No. 1 worked on eliminating the issue.

“Second serve has been brutal though. Really brutal. If I go to the top-50 leaderboard for second serve points won, Alexander Zverev is second-worst on tour, ahead of only Alexander Bublik,” he observed.

“Zverev’s winning 46.4% of his second serve points. So, in the top-50, that is in 49th place. That’s awful for second serve points. So, that’s really held him back.”

Gross further mentioned World No. 2 and 2023 Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka’s remarkable turnaround this season after shocking form in 2022. Sabalenka dished out 428 double faults, the most by any player on the WTA Tour, last season.

“It’s pretty unfortunate to see that because that’s kind of been an issue forever and just remains an issue. I think he could learn a lot from Aryna Sabalenka. That’s all I’ll say,” he said, expressing disappointment.

“You have a problem? Go to the damn garage. Do something. Change it. Zverev has seemingly not been interested in doing that for five years now. And it’s just the same thing.”

Alexander Zverev gears up for his first semifinal of 2023 at Dubai Tennis Championships

Alexander Zverev at the 2023 aDubai Tennis Championships
Alexander Zverev at the 2023 aDubai Tennis Championships

Alexander Zverev’s first few tournaments of 2023 did not yield favorable results. However, the former World No. 2 is steadily restoring his original form and is now in his first semifinal since returning from injury.

The 25-year-old scored some noteworthy wins at the on-going Dubai Tennis Championships. Zverev saw off Jiri Lehecka and Christopher O’Connell before dismissing Lorenzo Sonego in the quarterfinals.

The German is now set to clash against defending champion Andrey Rublev for a spot in the final. Should he beat Rublev, he will face the winner of the much-anticipated clash between Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev.

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