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May 18, 2017

Alexander Zverev

Rome, Italy

A. ZVEREV/F. Fognini

6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Fabio said that you can become the next No. 1 ranking in the future. Which is your opinion of the match of today and also Fabio?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Fabio is a great guy, so I think he will give a lot of compliments away to other players. You know, other players maybe said this about me already before. He just felt like maybe giving me a compliment.

But, yeah, it was a great match for me. I think I played very well. Was very aggressive from the baseline, as well. Played a great match.

No, Fabio is someone who plays well here. And he beat the world No. 1 a few days ago, so I just felt like -- I was feeling the ball very well and was very aggressive and it worked out well for me.

Q. How do you sort of keep stock of all these compliments that keep coming to you? Is there a danger of becoming overconfident, or if you don't listen to them, is there a danger of getting down on yourself? How do you manage to keep grounded?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I think confidence is a good thing, and getting down on yourself is not because of compliments. I think it's more about how you see your game and how your team sees your game.

I try to listen to very few people, to my team who is with me most of the time. Those are the people who I listen to.

Of course it's nice to hear such great things from other players and from other competitors, but at the same time, you know, I try not to listen too much to it, try to focus on keep improving and, you know, just getting better and maybe really becoming that one day.

Q. At least quarters here, quarters in Madrid, final in Munich. Were you expecting so many good results on clay and overall in your season?

Q. Are you surprised? On clay or maybe in general.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: "Surprised," I think, is the wrong word. I mean, I know what I have done this offseason. I know how hard I worked in my time where nobody sees what I'm doing.

So I'm not surprised. But obviously it's a great feeling to know that I'm playing this well and to know that I can compete with the biggest players in the world and to reach those kind of stages in big tournaments.

Q. Yesterday you said Fabio is entertaining, the way he plays and the way he behaves. Do you still think the same?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I didn't say that, but he is very entertaining. He is very entertaining, and the crowd always loves him. I think he's very fun to watch.

But, yeah, I personally think he's a great guy. I have absolutely no issue with him, because he's never personal. You know, when he gets angry, he gets angry at himself or how he plays. It's never towards anybody.

I mean, I'm very, very well with him.

Q. When you will have to play the NextGen, it can happen that you're also qualified for the ATP Finals. At least I think you hope so. Do you think that could be a possible conflict of schedule that, you know, could damage you somehow to do things, two tournaments in a row or terms of concentration or something else or not?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Well, if I qualify for London, it's a good problem to have (smiling).

You know, of course I'm going to try and do everything I can to qualify for London, but I know it's still a long road ahead of me and a long road for every player. I mean, not even half of the year is over yet. There is still a lot more tennis to play and a lot more tournaments to play.

I just gotta keep focusing on the tournaments that are coming up. If I do qualify for both events, I will try to lead my schedule into those events so I can play both and I can compete at the highest level of both and be there 100%.

Q. I'm sure you have been asked this before in the last few months, but how different is it now having your elder brother on the tour with you, going to the same events? How much does that help?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: We have been doing that for quite a while actually now. It's not only been the last three months. It's been over the last two years. Even if he was playing qualifying in a lot of events, we still went to the same tournaments.

It's great because we always have someone to practice with. You know, we can tell each other different things that we see in our games and what we can improve.

But it's nice to have your family around so you don't get homesick as much, and you really feel like you can go anywhere and still feel the same.

And it's also quite entertaining at times to have him around. Off the court we do a lot of stuff together. A lot of competitive stuff, as well. It's always nice to have him around.

Q. What sort of away-from-tennis stuff do you do together?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Anything that we can compete in. Basketball is one. We play a lot of pickup games in basketball and different card games, different PlayStation games or something like that. Something that he can get annoyed at very easily is one of my favorite things (smiling).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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