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October 1, 2017

Alexander Zverev

Beijing, China

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Two years ago when you came to Beijing, you still had to qualify. Now you're the No. 2 seed. Talk about how this tournament reflects how fast you're growing.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I mean, I don't know if this tournament reflects how fast I've grown. It's more the seasons that I had. You know, in 2015, I finished inside the top 100 for the first time. Last year I was almost top 20. Well, I was top 20 during the year, but I didn't finish top 20. I was No. 24 in the world. Now I'm No. 4. It's a very nice progress that I'm doing.

But obviously I don't want to stop here. I want to keep going. I want to keep improving. I'm going to keep working just as hard as I did to reach other goals.

You know, this is a big tournament. This is a very nice event with a beautiful stadium. Hopefully I can play my best tennis here, as well.

Q. You don't want to stop here, you want to keep going. I guess the next step for you is how to maintain your level on a consistent basis at the very top of the game. Will you prepare mentally for that? It seems like a tough moment.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I mean, I think my season has been pretty consistent. I've won five tournaments. I think me, Rafa and Roger are the only ones who won five tournaments. That shows that I've been pretty consistent. I mean, in big events I was pretty consistent, as well. I won two Masters Series. So that's something great.

But Grand Slams is something I want to improve next year. I want to get further in those tournaments. I want to improve them.

But, you know, it's going good for me. I'm only still 20 years old. You can't have it all unfortunately, but it's not going bad.

Q. To go on from there, you're rising in the rankings. Talk about the pressure that puts on you. Do you feel any pressure? How do you deal with that, where you're now expected to win more?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Look, I mean, I've been dealing with expectations since a very young age. I've learned how to deal with them. Obviously it becomes more and more the higher you are ranked.

But, look, I try not to listen too much from what other people expect from me or what other people think of me. I do care about, you know, the opinion of the people that are close to me, and that is my team, my family, stuff like this. But everyone else, you know, I try not to focus on too much.

Of course, it's nice to hear from great players what they think I might become one day, but this is still all in the future, a work in progress. The getting better part is more important than what other people think about me.

Q. How did you find the Laver Cup experience and what did you learn from playing alongside Roger and Rafa?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Laver Cup was one of the most fun events I've ever been a part of for me. It was an unbelievable event. I mean, we all took it completely serious. We all wanted to win. It was a great honor playing in an event honoring Rod Laver.

Obviously having great teammates, you don't want to put them down. You want to win for them, as well. It was an inspiration having Rafa and Roger sitting on the bench, watching you, cheering you on. It's something spectacular. You won't see that in any other event. It's been one of the most fun weeks I've ever had. Hopefully this can continue for a very long time.

Q. You talked about trying to improve your consistency. Looking into the near future, what parts of your game are you looking to improve upon?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I actually just said that I was consistent this year, so that's a part that I've improved in the last 12 months. I'm pretty consistent all over the year so far. Always played pretty good tournaments. I didn't lose a lot of bad matches. Of course, everyone loses bad matches, but I didn't have a lot of them this year. That's a part where I'm happy, the way I improved, the way I got better.

But, you know, as I said, there's so many things that everybody's trying to improve. I think Roger and Rafa, they are the two best players of all time, but they still improve each year they play. You can never stop. That's something that I'm still going to be working on to get to the top of the game. Hopefully I can do that.

Q. Your career since turning pro in 2013 has been a really successful ride in terms of making the jump into the pro game. What would you attribute that to, the transition from junior to pro, which maybe can be learned by local Chinese here as a reference?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I think, you know, it's not something you can learn. I think my brother helped me with it because he was on the pro tour already. He could always talk, he could always teach me a lot of stuff.

But then also it depends on game styles as well a little bit. A lot of juniors, they play so-called junior tennis where they put the ball in play, try to wait for their opponents to miss, stuff like this.

I was always somebody, even when I was losing, who was trying to be aggressive, always trying to hit the ball. I was always losing to younger guys -- not younger guys than me, but I was always losing to players and juniors which I don't lose to now because their game was different compared to mine. I was always trying to be aggressive, and I was missing.

I think from a young age, you have to try to learn to play an adult game. Even though it doesn't always work out, at the end that's the only way of making the pros. That's the only way of being successful on the pro tour afterwards.

Q. How do you find the fan reception here than the last two years?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Look, the fans have always been amazing. The fans are always great in China. You guys love your sports. You guys are always very informed about what's happening, about each player. A lot of my fans love my dog, for example. I get a lot of gifts for him, as well, which I find very amazing (smiling).

They're always very supportive here in China. That's why I think all the players love coming back. They're trying to be very personal with players, trying to interact. That's very special for all of us. For somebody to really know what we are doing even outside the court, outside of Beijing and Shanghai when we play here, it's always nice to come back here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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