Becker on Zverev: Not “favorite” at French Open
A year after his serious injury, Zverev is still looking for his former form. That’s why Becker doesn’t see him in the top eight at the French Open. The legend names other favorites.
Boris Becker does not count Alexander Zverev among the extended group of favorites at the upcoming French Open given the recent poor form. Last year, the Olympic champion reached the semifinals at the Grand Slam tournament in Paris, but injured his ankle badly in the game against Rafael Nadal.
“A year in tennis is damn long, Sascha knows that best,” said the 55-year-old Eurosport expert Becker before the start of the clay court tournament on Sunday. “A year later, to be fair, he is not among the top eight favorites, tennis is so brutal.”
From Becker’s point of view, after Nadal’s cancellation due to injury, the world number one Carlos Alcaraz from Spain, Rome winner Daniil Medvedev (Russia), the 22-time Grand Slam tournament winner Novak Djokovic (Serbia) and the Dane Holger Rune are among the top contenders for the title. Behind them are Casper Ruud (Norway), Jannik Sinner (Italy), Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece) and Andrej Rubljow (Russia) for the German legend.
“The public does not talk about Sascha Zverev, but about the other eight named,” said Becker. “He’s a proud player, he wants to be one of the favourites. As things stand today, he’s not.”
After his ankle surgery and the long break, Zverev is still looking for his former form and consistency this year. In Geneva, the 26-year-old currently wants to get the last momentum for the French Open. On Thursday evening he reached the semi-finals by beating the Chinese Wu Yibing.
In the previous six tournaments he had reached the top 16 at most. In the opinion of Becker, however, this picture could also change again at the tournament in the Stade Roland Garros. “When the knot bursts, it can happen very quickly and everything looks easy, which was difficult before,” said the six-time Grand Slam tournament winner.