My Story: Zverev Discusses Life On The ATP Tour With His Family
World No. 5 enjoys life on the ATP Tour with regular family support
When most players return to their home tournament, their week is filled with rare opportunities to enjoy home comforts and spend time with family.
But that isn’t the case for Alexander Zverev, who is preparing to make his first appearance at the Hamburg European Open since 2016. The Hamburg-born star travels with his closest relatives, who provide a vast support system as he battles for the top prizes on the ATP Tour.
“Most of the time I’m with everyone, basically,” said Zverev. “My Dad as a coach, my brother as a player and my mum, my little puppy, Mischa’s wife now and hopefully his child is going to come on Tour a lot as well.
“Basically, the whole family is always together. [We] always travel together and do all the fun activities… in different cities.”
Spending more than 10 months of the year on the road, Zverev is rarely away from his family which includes his coach, Alexander Zverev Sr. and his brother, Mischa Zverev. In March, Zverev joined forces with his brother to lift the doubles title at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC. The siblings have reached seven ATP Tour doubles finals as a team and also triumphed at the 2017 Open Sud de France.
“It is obviously great to have your family around, you never really get homesick,” said Zverev. “You never really have the urgency to go home like other players maybe do. It is obviously great to have the close ones that know you the best and to always have them around."
The 6'6" German has compiled a 25-14 tour-level record in 2019, which includes a title run at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open. In the championship match, Zverev saved two championship points to defeat Nicolas Jarry, the man he will meet in the first round in Hamburg.
Aside from his father and brother, Zverev has the support of two more key figures in his life on the ATP Tour. His mother, Irina, and his beloved dog, Lovik, both provide their own unique support off the court.
“My mum is very important with nutrition stuff and my dog always keeps me in a good mood," said Zverev. "That is very nice of him. He is the easiest travel dog there is, you get him on a 16-hour plane and he just sleeps.
“He doesn’t bark, he doesn’t walk around, he doesn’t do anything. As long as he is around everybody, when he is around me and my mother, he can sit there quietly for as much time as he wants. So everybody has their own role."
While every week may feel like a home tournament for Zverev, the World No. 5 will be keen to make another deep run in Hamburg. As a 17-year-old, Zverev dropped one set en route to the 2014 semi-finals before falling to David Ferrer.