Former World No. 1 Mats Wilander was left surprised by Alexander Zverev’s comments after his defeat at the Australian Open.
Zverev failed to win his maiden Grand Slam after he suffered a shock defeat to Denis Shapovalov. He lost in the fourth round 6-3 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 to his opponent in a major upset at Melbourne Park.
However, the trouble started in the third round itself. After defeating Radu Albot, Zverev was asked about his journey to where he is today. He replied saying, “It’s a sacrifice but it’s something I enjoy doing. I can make good money from it, and good living with it,” leaving a bad taste in the mouths of many.
Wilander was among those surprised by Zverev’s comments, stating that it was a bit controversial to be saying it.
“I thought it was interesting when you asked him about sacrifices that you make when you’re on tour,” he said, as quoted by tennis365.
“I’ve never really heard Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic mention money and Sascha actually mentioned that ‘yeah being away from home blah blah blah, but it’s a good job, I’m gonna make a bunch of money’ and I’m like, whoa, that is interesting.”
“Ranking points, championships, I get it,” he continued.
“So I hope Sasha gets it together that he actually just doesn’t want to be No. 1, but actually needs deep in his heart to be the best player that he can be and doesn’t hope that it just comes to him automatically.
“We’re used to this with Rafa and Roger and Novak. They have set the bar. They set the bar so high, these three, that we come to expect that’s what you have to do. It’s so tough to do.
“Sascha will find it I think. He will still be No 1. I think he will win a Slam this year. It just wasn’t a good day today and we need to figure out why.”