Mr. Zverev: Will he come around again?

Remember in November, 2018? He won the ATP Final, beating Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, two of the best players un¹ever. Then, when he started playing in January, 2019, he could actually win a Slam. But he didn’t. He fell back.

At what point will Alexander Zverev rise again? He has not had a good year at all, but I would think that he can come around.

The 22-year-old reached the final at Acapulco in March, but he lost to Nick Kyrgios. And then, the now No. 7 lost fairly early for the next five months.

On Tuesday in Montreal, Zverev  beat Cameron Norrie 7-6, 6-4. That was pretty decent, but now has to play against Nikoloz Basilashvili
who is ranked No. 17. Basilashvili beat him 7-6 in the third at Hamburg, two week ago. Now they will clash, on hardcourts, so it is faster and he has to attack early. He has to jump on the lines. His first serve is huge, if he gets in, that is.
Last year in Canada, Zverev lost in the third round against 
Stefanos Tsitsipas, a guy who is very good. But then he lost early in Cincy and the US Open.

It is just impossible to know how poorly the German is thinking on the court. We will find out ASAP as the North American hardcourt season proceeds.

NOTES

In Montreal, The veteran Milos Raonic beat Lucas Pouille, a good win, but now he will have face Felix Auger-Aliassime, the excellent 18-year-old. Both of them live in Canada. Auger-Aliassime is rising up, quickly, but Raonic wants to frustrate him. It should be a terrific match, forehand versus forehand.

Roberto Bautista Agut destroyed Bernard Tomic. The good thing is that the Aussie qualified, but he needs to work out more, and not travel all the time. Tomic is ranked in the top 100, and I would think he will qualify for the US Open, but it is hard to tell. He is up and down mentally all the time — still.

 The women in Toronto

Was this a surprise? Anettt Kontaveit took down Maria Sharapova 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Kontaveit can play excellent balls, or she can lose her temper. Over the last couple years, Sharapova has been hurt all the time, but she is still trying. Hopefully, over the rest of the year, she won’t get hurt, or here and there, because for many years, her right shoulder is sore all the time. She just has to deal with it, and she knows that.

“I’m still building the confidence and my form, and that’s something that’s just going to come with time and with match play,” Sharapova said. “Unfortunately, I just haven’t had that yet, so will just hopefully try to build on it. There’s never the perfect scenario. … So it will just take time to build that confidence again, because I have struggled with it for a long time.”

Another good Czech, Marie Bouzkova, upset Sloane Stephens. The American cannot get going. It is in her head…

The other Canadian, Bianca Andreescu, has returned after being injured for months. Recall though, she won Indian Wells, which was a shocker. But not anymore. The 19-year-old is a worthy player. If she stays healthy, she will make the top 10 by the end of the year.

On Tuesday, Andreescu beat Genie Bouchard 6-4, 6-1, 6-4. Years ago, Bouchard won so many matches. Now, she is not even in the top 100. Will she come back? I just don’t think so.

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