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May 20, 2017

Alexander Zverev

Rome, Italy

A. ZVEREV/J. Isner

6-4, 6-7, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You were standing pretty far back, getting a lot of his serves back.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yeah, I tried to mix it up a lot. I tried to stand forward and then tried to stand backwards so he doesn't find a rhythm on his serve, because if he does, he's very dangerous and he's very tough to break.

So I tried a lot of different things. I wanted to put the ball in play and then play out the point quite a lot.

You know, I broke him three times while he's serving 78%, so that's something that I think worked out well today.

Q. Now you're in the final. You thought your chances yesterday were 25%. Now they are 50%. You must be feeling really good at this stage of your development this season.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yeah, I mean, I had a few very good tournaments, I think. I won two tournaments already so that helps, as well.

I'm into my first final of a Masters Series, which is great, and especially on clay. You know, on clay it's a very physical game and it's very tough points all the time, long points, you know, even though I played John just now which are probably the shortest points you'll get against someone on a clay court.

But still, I think, you know, I'm happy the way I'm playing, but I still want to keep improving and I still want to develop my game and get better.

Q. You're playing with confidence on court and off court, but do you...
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Off court in what way? What do you mean?

Q. Like just the way that you're showing emotions.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yeah, I think you meant something else.

Q. No, like sure of yourself. You say you're not surprised of the results you're getting. But that's not my question, actually.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I mean, as I said, I know what I have done. I know what I have done in the offseason. I know what I have been doing and what I have been working on.

Of course I'm happy that the results are coming like this. Am I surprised? "Surprised" is the wrong word. As I said, I answered this question before.

Q. Exactly. That is not my question. Does it happen to you...
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I think I answered it.

Q. ...that you get nervous on maybe bigger stage or when you get to the semifinals or to the final of a tournament? Do you get a little bit nervous or just...
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I think if you have done the work and if you have done the work before the match, you have nothing to be nervous about. You know, you have prepared yourself the best you have. You trained the hardest you can. If you lose, you lose. You know, you have done your best. That's how I see things.

If you win, great. If somebody is better than you, playing better than you, and you have not done anything stupid the night before or the training, you have not tanked training sessions or something like this, which I don't do, you know, you're doing your best. That will always show.

Q. Break down each possible opponent for tomorrow, Thiem and Djokovic.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yeah, I mean, Dominic is playing unbelievable on clay this season. He's won Rio, made finals of Madrid last week. He's a very tough opponent.

I played him last year three times on clay, three weeks in a row, actually. All of those matches were very tough. I lost in three sets in Munich and Nice and lost in four sets in Paris. He's a very tough opponent.

And Novak, he's one of the greatest players of all time. He is never going to be easy. Especially in a final when he already starts to have a rhythm. I think he played a great match against Delpo today and yesterday.

Both of those, it's not going to be an easy match.

Q. You're now fourth in ATP race. Can you consider the ATP Finals as your next goal instead the NextGen Finals?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Doesn't have to be instead. I can play both. So obviously I'm more looking at the race to London than I'm looking to the race to Milan, because, you know, what do I have? I have 1,800 points. If I don't make it with 1,800 points, that's just too good for my fellow NextGen players.

As I said, it's going to be another tough half of the year, and we'll see what happens. The opponents are not going to get easier. Matches aren't going to get easier. If I make it, then great. If I don't, then I will have another hard offseason in front of me.

Q. What do you make of when you look at the race to Milan and you see you're a thousand points ahead of second place right now?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I don't really think that way, to be honest (smiling).

Q. What do you think of all the changes they are going to experiment in Milan?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I answered this question I think two days ago. I think it's good that they are trying new things. I think it's good that they are promoting us young players.

Do I think it's ever going to reach the tour? No. It's that simple. I think rule changes, playing sets up to four is not going to reach it. No ad scoring is not going to reach the tour. No lets I think is not going to reach the tour. Maybe a shot clock at some point will be changed.

Maybe the spectators walking in the stands maybe will be changed. But big rule changes will not happen.

Q. Can you sense which areas of your game have really improved over the last year or two? How momentous is it to reach a Masters Series final?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Oh, I think the physical part of the game I have worked a lot on with Jez Green. Tennis-wise, I think I'm trying to improve everything step by step. You can't really name one thing.

Maybe I have worked on the second serve a lot this offseason, so that's maybe improving a little bit, but everything is improving step by step slowly.

Q. Tennis fans are looking for a new star. The Big 4 have been dominating for a long time. At this point Cilic is youngest player to hold Masters title. Do you think that kind of expectation on you, do you feel this expectation as pressure or do you think it's more easier?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Again, I don't look at these kind of stats, who is the youngest player to have a Masters 1000 title or things like this. I try to play match by match and try to improve.

Obviously the Big 4 are still, I think, dominating tennis. You know, Roger has won a slam and two Masters Series this year. The rest of the Masters Series went to Rafa. I think those guys are still playing the best tennis. Andy is still No. 1 and Novak is No. 2. You can't really say these guys are not playing great tennis.

But unfortunately for, I think, the spectators and for our sport and for everybody, those guys cannot play forever. I think that's why the ATP is doing a good job promoting us young guys with the NextGen Finals and a lot of different things. And the media, as well. I think everybody is doing a good job to try to push us guys so other guys will get to know us better.

You know, if Dominic wins today, it's quite easy, there will be a new youngest Masters 1000 winner currently playing. There is a lot of young guys and a lot of expectations from them, as well. I'm not the only one who has to deal with this kind of stuff.

Q. With your Russian background and you're German born, do you feel that in Germany you have big, big media behind you, crowd and things like that? Or they look at you more as an international player, in your opinion? You know, when Becker was winning, Stich, there were a lot of media and a lot of journalists around. We don't see them yet. Do you think they will come out?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Well, I'm also not a Grand Slam champion yet. I'm not Boris Becker and I'm not Michael Stich. As I said already, I'm 100% German. My parents moved to Germany in '91. I wasn't even born yet. I grew up in German, went to German school, had German friends. I was the most German that I could be.

You know, I don't know. You have to ask the crowd. I think the crowd is supporting me. I think people in Germany are supporting me. I hope the media in Germany are supporting me.

But, you know, I'm the most German I can be.

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