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August 26, 2017

Alexander Zverev

New York, NY, USA

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. The buzz around here has been that this could be a real opportunity this year for you with Djokovic not in the Open, you beat Roger in Montreal. How are you feeling about your prospects?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Well, I think for, you know, I played great on the hard courts so far, won two tournaments, Montreal and Washington back to back, which are two huge events, Montreal is Masters Series. I felt like I could compete and beat anyone during this period of time.

I feel quite welcoming into this Open. I feel different about this Grand Slam than I have felt before about the Grand Slams.

So, you know, it's obviously Roger and Rafa are the biggest favorites still. I think how the year has been going, they are still on top of everyone. But, you know, I'm just going to go match by match and hopefully I can get to those guys.

Q. What do you think you have learned about yourself from this experience and from gaining confidence from playing against this caliber of player?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Well, I think it really showed me that I can beat those guys on a daily basis. I mean, I have won two Masters events this year, which is something new I think the tour hasn't seen for quite a long time apart from the Big 4. You know, everything is starting to come together and hopefully can continue.

Q. How would you describe yourself as a player?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I mean, the usual stuff. I mean, I'm trying to be aggressive, trying to take the time away from my opponents, especially when I play someone like Roger, Rafa, where you have to be the aggressor on the court otherwise it's going to be very tough to beat those guys.

Q. At the beginning of the year when you were 24 in the world, if someone would have told you that you'd go on to win two Masters events and be the fourth seed at the US Open, what would your reaction have been?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I mean, you probably expect me to be super surprised. Obviously I wouldn't have expected it, but I know, as well, what kind of work I have done in the offseason, what kind of work I have done throughout the season, and that me and my whole team are all working towards something like this, and something hopefully even bigger.

Obviously I'm super happy the way things are going, but I'm not going to be satisfied with just being the No. 4 seed, you know. Doesn't really matter at the end of the tournament what seed you were. It only matters how far you went and what matches you have won.

Hopefully I can do that like I have done in other big events this year, and we will see how it will go down in the end.

Q. Can you tell us how many days off you took after the Cincinnati defeat and how you prepared for the tournament, trying to recover?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: The first time I practiced was Monday, and I went to the Hamptons with my whole family. I've got a great friend there who gave us the opportunity to come there. I actually went to the beach a lot, played a little bit of golf. Just relaxed a lot. Didn't do quite a lot of physical activities. Then Monday started full practice again.

Q. What do you think, for you, is the biggest key to having success at a Grand Slam tournament?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Well, I mean, this year I haven't played bad at Grand Slams. I just had very tough draws. I think after my Rome victory I played Verdasco in the first round of the French, which is not an easy round for any seed. Then I lost to Rafa in five sets in Australia, which was a very tough match that could have gone both ways. He ended up being in the final. In Wimbledon I lost to Raonic in five sets, which I felt like I really could have won that match or maybe should have won.

You know, it's just here and there a few points decided both of those matches, and, you know, who knows what could have been if I won those matches. But, you know, getting over one of those matches and getting over beating one of the big, big names in tennis in a five-set match, that's, I think, that's where the success will come in.

Q. You seem to be very good at learning from mistakes. If you have a match that didn't go well, next time you play that person, you perform much better. How do you do that specifically? What do you do to make that happen?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I analyze a lot and watch a lot of videos afterwards. I watched the match actually, so I know exactly what I have done wrong, what I could have done better the next time.

That's what I'm trying to do. That's how I try to keep improving and try to, you know, playing an opponent for the second time, make it easier for me and tougher for him.

Q. Have you watched the videos for a lot of years? What other stuff do you add to improving?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Have I watched videos of my opponents for a lot of years?

Q. Yeah, like the videos you study.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: No, more of the matches I have played against them, because I think every opponent has a different game style and every player has a different game style.

If Roger plays one way against Rafa, I can't really, you know, relate to that, because he plays a different game.

But still, I can look at a few things and I can look at stuff that they do well and maybe not do that well even though they do almost everything perfect.

But, no, just try to be as well prepared for every single match as you can.

Q. You seem to know that confidence is very important in this game. Do you think you have the mental confidence to beat a Roger or a Rafa here at the Open?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Well, I mean, as I said, I have gone deep with them in previous Grand Slams. I have beaten them in three-set matches. I have beaten them in Masters events.

So, you know, I think it all depends on how the match goes. I think it all depends on the day, as well.

You know, I think we are all playing great tennis over the hard court swing, so it's more about that than just thinking, okay, I'm playing them in a five-set match is going to be so much different than a three-set match. Obviously it will be a much longer match, but it's not dissimilar. The tennis doesn't change that much.

Q. You alluded to the Big 4 earlier. With Novak out and you and some of the other up-and-comers doing so well, how would you describe the opportunity for guys outside of the Big 4 to win here?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: You guys keep saying that Novak is out. I think the defending champion is out, as well. I think that's something massive, as well. I think Stan at Grand Slams has shown us over the last few years that he's dangerous and he's won three Grand Slams in the last three years.

So you can't forget about him. I think he's a big part of, you know, the big 5, that's how I call them, you know, because Andy and Stan have both won three slams. Of course, Andy has won much more outside of Grand Slams. But Stan is a big threat to everyone, as well.

But, yeah, obviously the seedings move a little bit. Normally I would have been No. 6 seeded if both those guys play. I'm No. 4 seed, so that helps a little bit.

At the end of the day, I think at Grand Slams it's going to be a lot of tough matches before you get to see those guys. Every opponent will try to play his best tennis because that's the tournaments we play for.

As I said, there is going to be a lot of other tough opponents, and we will see who will come, who will have a breakthrough at the US Open.

Q. Does having your brother on tour help you? How has that affected you over the years?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Have you watched any of my interviews before? Just a question. Have you? How many times have I gotten this question asked, in about the last three months?

Q. A lot?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yes. But I'm going to say it again. It's great to have him on tour. He's been a big help for me. I hope I was a big help for him. You know, I'm in the comeback stage that he had. He's No. 25 in the world or whatever he is. It's great for him. He's having such a great, great year. Hopefully we can continue to play great tennis together.

You know, who knows? Who knows what the future holds for both of us?

Q. Andy has talked about seeing you on tour over the years when you were six, seven years old. Couple of brothers coming from a little Scottish town, one who got to world No. 1 in singles and other one is No. 1 in the doubles team. Talk about that if you could.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I think the Murray brothers have done amazing in tennis. It's obviously nice to see that we are not the only brothers who can do great stuff.

You know, they have one-year difference in the age between them. We have 10. That's a little bit of a different thing.

But, you know, I have known Andy or Andy knew me since I'm four, five years old, and it's always great, you know, to know that I have known them and know who I was before I even started playing on tour. I was always pretty welcomed by those guys, by Novak, by Andy, by other guys similar age, plus my brother played juniors with them.

I think it's quite amazing what nice guys they are, and obviously how welcoming they are to everyone else on tour, as well.

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