High drama - on court and off. The diligent Alexander Zverev has faced some major struggles of late.

When Alexander Zverev left the French Open last year, it was in a wheel chair. He was in tears.

After tearing ligaments in his right ankle while running for a ball, Zverev was forced to retire in the semifinals to the eventual champion, Rafael Nadal.

Zverev had hopes of winning his first major title after twice winning the ATP Finals and capturing and capturing a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. He was also the runner-up at the 2020 United States Open.

Zverev has faced plenty of adversity, much of it self-inflicted.

A public feud with a former agent over money was settled out of court. Allegations of domestic abuse by a former girlfriend dogged his for about two years, prompting an investigation by the ATP, which eventually found no substantial evidence of the claims.

And after throwing an on-court tantrum following a double loss last year, Zverev was fined $40,000 and put on 12 months of probation for ''unsportsman conduct.''

Yet Zverev remains one of the most diligent workers on tour.

.- You are known for your physical strength on court. But the game is mental, too. Which is harder for you?

I always feel like when I do the work, I'm mentally prepared as well. Once I've done everything I can to be ready to win, there's nothing to be nervous about.

If you don't play well, you don't play well. Sometimes things happen out of your control in any sport, especially in tennis because it's a singular sport.

.- What about this game gives you the greatest joy?

It's that you're really you. You win by yourself, you lose by yourself. You can't hide behind your teammates. A lot of players say they play for the money and they don't really love Tennis.

I'm somebody who absolutely loves what I do. I can't imagine doing anything else. For me, there's no better life.

The World Students Society thanks author Cindy Shmerler.


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