Zverev: 'The Clay Season Has Been Very Positive'
German competes in first major championship quarter-final
Alexander Zverev looked to the positives in spite of sustaining an injury during his first Grand Slam championship appearance at Roland Garros, which ended with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 loss to Dominic Thiem on Tuesday.
“I won three five-set matches in a row [and] got to my first [major championship] quarter-final,” said Zverev. [It’s] all positive. [The] clay court season in general has been very positive. I lost three matches on the clay, all to great players. And I won two tournaments, made two [ATP World Tour] Masters 1000 finals. So it's all very positive.
“I think if I get healthy again, I'll be ready to play good in the grass court season, as well... Grass is a surface that I like. Hopefully I can deal with what I have. And it's going to be a quick [recovery].”
Zverev, who is now 34-9 on the season, picked up two clay-court titles at the BMW Open by FWU (d. Kohlschreiber) and the Mutua Madrid Open (d. Thiem), prior to a runner-up finish at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia (l. to Nadal).
The 21-year-old will now undergo an MRI scan in Paris to reveal the full extent of the left hamstring injury he picked up against Thiem. He had been bidding to become the first German man to reach the Roland Garros semi-finals since Michael Stich in 1996.
“I'm going to take an MRI now after I'm done here,” said Zverev. “But, most of the time, with muscle injuries or muscle pulls, you can only see something on an MRI if you take it two or three days after. [So] I'm going to go back home and definitely not do anything and see what it is.
“The first time I felt a pull was in the fourth game of the first set when we had a few great points [and] a lot of physical points,” said Zverev. “I remember I slid one time, and then I felt, like, a muscle pull. I thought, ‘Well, okay. I’ve played a lot.’ I thought maybe it was just, like, soreness or something that would just go away. I didn't think about it too much. And then each game and each slide, I was getting worse and worse. [In the] middle of the second set, the pain was too much.
“I thought about [pulling out]. I definitely thought about it, but I didn't want to pull out for the first time in my career in a Grand Slam quarter-final. I knew I was not going to win the match. There was no way for me. I mean, I could barely move. I couldn't serve. I couldn't really do anything.”