My Motivation Alexander Zverev

Learn what pushes the German to continue improving

For Alexander Zverev, nothing beats winning the biggest tournaments in the world. Reaching a final is great, but the German is not satisfied unless he lists the trophy.

“I love the feeling of lifting that trophy. That’s the hunger that you want. That’s the thing that you miss when you’re sitting at home on the couch,” said Zverev, who plays Andrey Rublev on Sunday in the Western & Southern Open final. “That’s when I get the most satisfaction, after winning a big match or winning a big title. That’s something that you play for and that’s something that right now, you get the biggest motivation out of it.”

Zverev has already earned important titles, including victories at the 2018 Nitto ATP Finals, four ATP Masters 1000 triumphs and his recent gold medal win at the Tokyo Olympics. But his journey has not come without setbacks. Earlier this year, he lost a devastating five-set semi-final at Roland Garros against Stefanos Tsitsipas. In the German’s first Grand Slam final at last year’s US Open, Zverev fell short in a final-set tie-break against Dominic Thiem.

“You actually learn much more from losses than from wins. Losses motivate you in the way that you want to do better next time. It’s always been in our sport this way,” Zverev said. “Tennis is a very short-term memory sport. You need to have success, put it in your pocket and put it in the back of the brain and know you can do it, but then go out there and do it again.”

Zverev has been around tennis his whole life. His father, Alexander Zverev Sr., is his coach. Mischa Zverev, who has climbed as high as No. 25 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, is his brother.

“I didn’t want to be just like Mischa. I wanted to beat Mischa,” Zverev said. “It didn’t really matter what we were doing, whether we were playing Monopoly, whether we were playing cards. I always wanted to be better than him, so that was definitely one part. But then when you grow up, you want the best for your brother. I want him to win basically every match that he plays.”

Regardless of competitive instincts, family is everything to Zverev.

“For me, the home makes the people. When your people and your loved ones are around you, you feel like part of your home is traveling with you,” Zverev said. “I think it really helps to have an older brother on Tour who still plays, to have your parents there with you. It’s a great thing to have all around.”

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Zverev has enjoyed another good season and is on pace to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals for the fifth consecutive year. But the 24-year-old is not satisfied.

“For me, it’s now about making the next step,” Zverev said. “And winning the big titles.”

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