Spain s Carlos Alcaraz (L) greets Germany s Alexander Zverev after winning their 2022 ATP Tour Madrid Open tennis tournament men s singles final match at the Caja Magica in Madrid on May 8, 2022. (AFP)
The third-ranked Zverev was overpowered by the 19-year-old Spaniard in straight sets.
Zverev conceded that he probably would have lost to Alcaraz even if he was “ fresh, ” but said that at least it would have been a “ better final ” if he hadn’t had to go to bed after 4 am local time in the previous nights.
He said it’s a problem that has been happening on a weekly basis and he was getting “ tired of it, ” adding that the tour needs to do better to avoid being unfair with players.
“ The ATP’s job was an absolute disgrace this week, ” Zverev said. “ To play a final against Carlos Alcaraz, who for me is the best player in the world right now, in a Masters 1000 event … it is difficult. I had no coordination today. I had no coordination on my serve, I had no coordination on my groundstrokes. I missed two overheads that were super easy because I see the ball and everything is moving in my eyes. ”
He said that during the warmup he already knew he would struggle.
“ I was a little bit late all of the time. My first step was not so quick, ” Zverev said. “ If you are playing the best players in the world, you have to be at your top. Otherwise you will have no chance. Today I had no chance. ”
Zverev started Saturday’s semifinal match against Stefanos Tsitsipas at about 11 pm local time and the three-set match ended after 1 am He returned to the “ Caja Magica ” center court after the match to practice his service for a few minutes, then had to work with his physios and eat before getting back to the hotel.
“ I think all of us have stayed up late, all of us maybe partied sometimes, but if you are staying up until 4 am, the next day you are dead, ” he said. “ I played the next day. If you’re doing it again, the next day until 5 am, you will have a difficult time to be even awake. ”
Zverev also played in the night session against Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarterfinals, when he won in two sets.
“ I don’t want to take anything away (from Carlos), ” Zverev said. “ I feel sad for the final that we played, because this could have been a very good match. This could have been a great match. ”
The regular scheduling of high-profile late matches has been a major source of frustration for the German player.
“ It’s quite upsetting because it takes away a great match. It takes away the sport of tennis. Everybody wanted to see a great fight. Everybody wanted to see some high-level tennis. But I’m also human. I’m not a robot, ” Zverev said. “ I can’t. I simply I cannot be on my level when this is happening every single night. ”
Zverev also had to play late in Acapulco earlier this year.
“ The chances are being taken away from me, ” he said. “ At the end of the day, everybody forgets about those things. Nobody talks about it, you know. Everybody says, `Yeah, it was a bad match, I made double faults, I didn’t play well ‘and all of that. But look at what is happening the days before. Look at what is actually happening behind the scenes, as well. It’s not quite fair, I think. ”
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