Rolex Shanghai Masters
Friday, 12 October 2018
A. ZVEREV/K. Edmund 6-4, 6-4
Q. Obviously the win puts you into the ATP Finals. Talk about how that’s important for you.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Obviously it’s great to, you know, finally officially make it and, you know, obviously be part of the eight best again, which is an elite group, which is kind of the goal for everyone at the beginning of the season.
So I’m very pleased with that. I’m very pleased to be in London again, get another opportunity to play there for the second year in a row. I’m looking forward to that tournament.
Q. And if you can talk about, you have now won the most matches of anyone on tour this year at 49, if you can talk about that.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yeah, that’s also obviously, you know, a great honor, because we have so many great players playing throughout the whole year, and obviously me winning the most matches means a lot to me. It means a lot, because I have kind of played only the biggest tournaments. I have played one 250 this year. I have won matches in big events, so this means a lot.
Obviously I don’t want to stop here. There is still a lot more tennis going on till the end of the year. I’m in semifinals now, and I obviously don’t want to be satisfied just yet.
Q. Can you cast your mind back to a year ago and then compare where you are as a player, where you are as a person, to where you are now? Do you feel more complete, more mature now?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: For sure, but I think every year you feel more mature. Ever year you spend on tour, you feel kind of different.
Last year was the first time I kind of broke through to the top 10 and was a top 5 player. You know, it’s always easier to kind of get there, but then staying there is always the tougher part.
You know, kind of solidifying that I am a top 5 player this year, and obviously with Novak coming back, winning two Grand Slams, and other players like Del Potro playing great again, it was a much tougher year, for sure, but I feel like I’m a better player. I feel like, you know, I’m still competing for the best and biggest tournaments. I feel like all of that is going to kind of show also this year and also next year.
Q. You sound like it’s getting better with your cold. Is that the case?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yeah, a lot better (smiling). I can breathe now, which is good.
Q. Can you talk about your potential semifinal match maybe against Djokovic or Anderson?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: What’s the score now? 3-2? No break? Nothing. 3-3? There you go.
It’s going to be a tight match. They just played the Laver Cup where Anderson played amazing, you know, throughout the whole weekend.
You know, obviously Novak winning the last two Grand Slams, he probably, on paper, is the best player right now in the world. But they are both obviously very good players, especially on this surface. It’s going to be a very interesting match.
Q. Can you talk a little about the season and the ATP Finals? How do you look at it? Do you look at it like a Grand Slam, almost on that level, played in a different format? You have already played it once. What are your expectations of yourself?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I put it close to equal as a Grand Slam, actually. It’s probably one of the most prestigious events that we have, because to get there, you have to be one of the best eight players in the world.
At a Grand Slam, you have to be one of the best 128 players, which is different. Just being a part of it, just playing there is already an honor itself. You know, it’s close to or it’s maybe equal to win a Grand Slam, and I think other players will tell you the same thing, because just to be there, you obviously play well throughout the whole year.
Q. The ATP is introducing a towel rack in the NextGen final. What do you think about that? Would you like to go and fetch your own towel?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I have never, I think, used a towel in a match, so for me, it doesn’t make a difference. Same with the shot clock. I mean, I’m one of the quickest players on tour, so for me it doesn’t make a difference.
There are some players, some American players, some other players that go for the towel literally after every single point, and that’s a bit ridiculous, in my perspective.
You know, you serve an ace or a double fault or your opponent serves an ace and the poor ball kid has to keep running for the towel just because it’s a superstition and it’s not a use because you’re sweating too much or something like that. I mean, some players literally use it as superstition. That’s not the purpose for it.
Q. I apologize if you were asked this earlier in the week. I only got here on Wednesday. What is the situation now with Lendl?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: No situation. We are still working together. I mean, as I said, he had a wrist surgery two days ago. That’s why he’s not here.
We are still fine. I mean, he came to Beijing. We wanted to do a training block. Obviously Shanghai, Masters Series, you can’t really do a training block. You’re trying to win the tournament, trying to play your best tennis.
In Beijing, I arrived there on Tuesday and I was already training every single day for four, five hours a day and also through the tournament through the matches we trained, and we thought this was a good schedule. I was very tired, I didn’t play my best in Beijing, but that was all for a good reason. I think the work shows here and obviously it’s going to show till the end of the year, hopefully next year.
Yeah, we’re still fine. We’re still working together. Everything is great. But we were more looking forward to a training block, not the actual tournament. So that’s why he was in Beijing and not here. And also, he had surgery, but that’s a small reason.
Q. You did exceptionally well to get him to China.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I know. That’s the first time he was in China, actually. He doesn’t want to leave Connecticut most of the time. Even in New York it was a hustle to get him into a hotel. He was actually driving back and forth, yeah.