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Alexander Zverev is pursuing his first ATP Tour grass-court title this week in Stuttgart.

Stuttgart's Top Seed Zverev: 'These Tournaments Are Very Important'

German to face countryman Brown or Aussie Millman in opener

Reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev reached his second Grand Slam quarter-final at Roland Garros. So of course, he will want to go even further at Wimbledon, which starts on 1 July. But the German, who accepted a wild card into the MercedesCup in Stuttgart, where he is the top seed, knows that to be successful in London, he needs to build up his form beforehand.

“These tournaments are very important. I play two tournaments in Germany, which I always love doing, which for me, on a personal level, is very, very important,” Zverev said. “Stuttgart, I haven’t been here for a few years now, so this is why I have great motivation to do well and obviously also enjoy my time here. Halle is also a tournament that I always love. So for me, of course you want to play your best tennis in the final of Wimbledon. But to do that you’ve got to play great before as well.”

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Zverev, who is playing in Stuttgart for the first time since 2015, is competing in his 12th tournament in the past 12 weeks of the ATP Tour calendar. The 22-year-old did not advance past the quarter-finals in the eight tournaments he played between his run to the Acapulco final and lifting the trophy in Geneva, but his victory in Switzerland and reaching his second Slam quarter-final in Paris will give him confidence, as he is in ninth place in the ATP Race To London.

“I hope that the grass-court season continues with how I ended the clay-court season. I played a few good tournaments in Geneva and in Paris, so I really hope that I [can] continue my good form,” Zverev said. “I hope to have a good grass-court season. Obviously playing in Stuttgart, playing in front of my home crowd, is something that I always love doing. I’m looking forward to the tournament here.”

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Zverev has won two of his 11 ATP Tour titles in Germany, but he has not been victorious on grass. The home favourite, who will play Aussie John Millman or compatriot Dustin Brown in his opener, ranks 12th among active players with a 66.7 winning percentage (22-11) on the surface, according to the FedEx ATP Performance Zone.

“I started practice yesterday. I didn’t hit for too long because of the rain, but I hit a little bit today already, I hit for two hours. I’m going to practise again later if the rain stops,” Zverev said. “I’m going to do everything I can to prepare myself the best I can. I’m going to play doubles as well with my brother, so for me I’m taking this tournament and the grass-court season very seriously. I want to do well.”

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