Biography

Alexander Zverev

German Tennis Player
Alexander Zverev
Alexander Zverev (Photo: Leonard Zhukovsky / depositphotos.com)

Alexander Zverev is a German tennis player. He won his first ATP title in Saint Petersburg in 2016, when he was 19 years old.

Alexander Zverev

• Date of birth: 20 April 1997
• Age: 25 years old
• Place of birth: Hamburg, Germany
• Residence: Monte Carlo, Monaco
• Nationality: German
• Height: 198cm / 6ft 6ins
• Weight: 90kg / 198lbs
• Plays: Right-handed
• Turned Pro: 2013
• Career Prize Money: US$ 31,767,815

• Instagram: @alexzverev123
• Twitter: @AlexZverev

Born in Hamburg, Germany in 1997, Zverev started playing tennis when he was around five years old.

His parents – mother Irina and father Alexander – are both former professional tennis players who served as his coach.

Zverev enjoyed a strong junior career and topped the world rankings at junior level, winning the boys’ singles event at the Australian Open in 2014. He also reached the final of the French Open and semi-finals of US Open during his junior career.

He turned professional in 2013 and won his first ATP singles title as a 19-year-old at Saint Petersburg in 2016.

Zverev then became the youngest player since Novak Djokovic in 2007 to break into top three in the rankings as a 20-year-old in 2017.

So, what do we know about Zverev’s journey to becoming the talented tennis player he is today? This is his story.

Early Life, Parents And Upbringing

Alexander Zverev (full name: Alexander Alexandrovich Zverev) was born on 20 April 1997 in Hamburg, Germany.

His parents, mother Irina and father Alexander, are Russian, and his family moved to Germany from Russia in 1991 before he was born. His parents were both professional tennis players, and his older brother Mischa is also a professional tennis player.

Zverev began playing tennis when he was around five years old under the guidance of his parents.

“My parents are very calm,” Zverev said in an interview with The Telegraph back in 2017. “They understand what I am doing, and they have both been playing pro tennis so they know how to behave.

“My father is my coach, but when I was younger my mother was guiding me more. I think I have pretty good technique, which my mum did at a young age, so credit to her for that. My backhand, in particular, is 100 per cent down to my mum.”

A young Alexander Zverev

A young Alexander Zverev (Photo: @alexzverev123 / Instagram)

Alexander also credits playing and growing up alongside his brother helped him to develop his game, and it’s a relationship which has benefitted both parties.

“My success has a lot to do with Mischa,” Alexander told The Independent in 2017. “He was the one who always used to practise with me when I was little, when I was a junior.

“I think he’s seen me do well and he’s seen me playing on the professional tour and he got really motivated. I think he thought: ‘I want to play a few more years with my brother, travel with him and play in the same tournaments as him.’

“Also, since I started playing well we’ve had a lot of very long and very intensive practice sessions, which I think helped his game and mine.”

Early Career

Zverev enjoyed a very strong junior career and made it to number one in the world in the junior rankings.

He won the Australian Open boys’ singles title in 2014 and also reached the final of the junior French Open in 2013.

Zverev made his ATP Tour main draw debut in 2013 at the Hamburg Open, where he lost to Roberto Bautista Agut.

Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev (Photo: Marianne Bevis)

First ATP Title And More Progress

Zverev enjoyed something of a breakthrough at the 2014 International German Open, held in his hometown of Hamburg, Germany.

After having previously not won an ATP Tour level match, Zverev – aged 17 years old at the time – reached the semi-finals of the tournament, where he ended up losing to David Ferrer.

Zverev’s first ATP title came in Saint Petersburg in Russia in 2016 when he was 19 years old. He beat world number three Stan Wawrinka in the final, 6-2 3-6 7-5 in two hours and 23 minutes.

“This victory is something special,” Zverev said after the win. “I played all the finals well. I lost to Dominic Thiem on clay and I could have won against Florian Mayer on the grass… Now I’m very happy with the win, especially over such a great player like Stan.”

Further Progress And Second ATP Finals Triumph

Zverev continued to make impressive progress on the tour, and he captured his first career ATP Masters title at the 2017 Italian Open in Rome.

He triumphed 6-4 6-3 over Djokovic in the final to claim the biggest title of his career so far and seal a place in the world’s top 10 for the first time in his career.

Speaking after beating Djokovic in the final, Zverev said: “I’m very happy with the way I played and my performance all week, I think today was one of the best matches I ever played. I knew I had to be aggressive from the first point to the last. It was very important for me to be able to stay this aggressive and not let him take over the game.”

With the victory, Zverev became first player born in the 1990s to win an ATP Masters 1000 title.

He then followed up that triumph by winning another Masters 1000 title, this time at the 2017 Rogers Cup in Montreal. Zverev triumphed 6-3 6-4 over Roger Federer in the final.

Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev (Photo: Marianne Bevis)

“Winning two Masters 1000 titles in the same year is something amazing,” said Zverev afterwards. “I played well winning Washington and here. It’s something amazing, back-to-back weeks. I feel great. I feel like I’m playing some of the best tennis of my life.”

The victory made him first player outside the ‘Big Four’ of Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray to win more than one Masters title in a season since David Nalbandian in 2007.

Zverev enjoyed another strong season in 2018 and ended it on a high note by winning the season-ending ATP Finals tournament for the first time in his career.

He defeated Novak Djokovic 6-4 6-3 to claim the title, and said afterwards: “This is the biggest title of my career so far. This trophy means a lot, everything, to all the players. I mean, you only have so many chances of winning it. You play against the best players only. How I played today, how I won it, for me it’s just amazing.”

Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev (Photo: Marianne Bevis)

At the 2020 US Open, Zverev reached the first grand slam final of his career, where he lost to fifth seed Dominic Thiem in four sets.

The 2021 season was another successful one for Zverev, with the German having won six titles, including a gold medal in the men’s singles at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Speaking after beating Karen Khachanov 6-3 6-1 in the final to claim the gold medal, Zverev said: “There is nothing better than this. You are not only playing for yourself, you are playing for your country, and the Olympics are the biggest sporting event in the world. The feeling I have now, and will have, nothing will be better.”

Zverev ended the year in excellent fashion by winning the ATP Finals for the second time in his career, beating Daniil Medvedev in the final.

Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev (Photo: Roberto Zanettin / Agenzia LiveMedia / depositphotos.com)

Earnings And Prize Money

As of May 2022, Zverev had earned a total of US$ 31,767,815 in career prize money for both singles and doubles combined.

Life Away From The Court

According to his biography page on the official ATP Tour website, Zverev got Roger Federer’s autograph as a five-year-old and took a photo with him as an 11-year-old at 2008 Halle, which still hangs above his childhood bed.

Away from tennis, Zverev is a big dog lover and he travels around the world with his two dogs, Lovik and Junior (Lovik’s son).

He is also an football and basketball fan, and supports the German national football team and Miami Heat. He also enjoys playing golf and video games.

Alexander Zverev (Photo: Marianne Bevis)

Alexander Zverev (Photo: Marianne Bevis)

What Have Others Said?

Novak Djokovic, speaking after losing to Zverev in the 2017 Rome Masters final: “He served very well. I just wasn’t able to get any rhythm on my returns. If we would get into a rally, he would smash the ball from the first or second shot. There is no doubt he took time away from me. It happens. If he serves this well and this efficiently, it’s tough to play him on any surface.”

Karen Khachanov, speaking after losing to Zverev in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics men’s singles final: “He played from the beginning to the end an unbelievable match. I also played an outstanding match from my point of view, but he was just better today – all credit to him. I was dreaming of gold, but I’ll give it a try at the next Olympics.”

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