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May 17, 2018
A. ZVEREV/K. Edmund
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
Q. Could you give us your insight on how you felt (indiscernible)?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I think Kyle has improved a lot since the last 18 months, I would say. He's improved his backhand a lot, improved his ground strokes a lot. So, it was not easy.
But, you know, I'm just happy that I found a way in both sets, at the end of the sets, and I'm through in two sets.
And, you know, being able to play another quarterfinal of a Masters event is great.
Q. What was the key to finding the way, then, particularly in the tiebreak?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Winning it. That was about it.
Q. And what would you say is the toughest thing about playing Kyle now compared to before?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Every short ball that he gets he's trying to go for it, and he's not missing much. So, before he was missing a little bit more. His backhand was always unstable, which it isn't now. He's actually using it very well when he's backing down the line as well. So on that part, he has improved a lot.
I think the backhand is the shot that is the most noticeable on him that he has improved.
Q. In what part of the game did you feel to be improved on clay?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Me?
Q. Yeah, you.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I don't know.
When I play well, there isn't really a shot that, you know, I -- opponents know that I'm gonna miss.
So for me it's more about getting the rhythm and getting the timing right for me to play well and to get me into this position.
When I am there, I mean, I'm happy to play anybody. Of course, if I play Nadal, I'm not going to be the favorite. But, you know, everybody besides that, I'm more than happy to play.
Q. Clay is your best surface in terms of win percentage. Are you upset that people can see your quick adaptation to clay in recent weeks?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Am I upset that people think I adapt quickly?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: No.
Am I upset that people think I adapt quickly?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: How can you ...
That doesn't make sense, buddy. At all.
Q. Clay is your best surface. But are you surprised that people --
(Speaking in Italian)
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Look, the clay season's only, what, seven weeks long, eight weeks long? So, if you don't adjust quickly, the clay season's over and we go to grass. So, you better learn how to adjust quickly.
Q. Thank you.
Q. You're now No. 3 in the world. Everyone thinks that you could become the future No. 1. And I'd like to know, what do you think you should do, also, to imitate Federer and Nadal, who are not just great, great players but they're also charismatic people? I mean, people that everybody likes. And they're idolled everywhere. Is it more pressure for you to think that you're not just a tennis player but also a character? You are also a human being that everybody in the future may like or may not like that much.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I think I'm that already. You either like me or not.
Q. No, I do. But --
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: It's like that with everybody.
Q. You don't think you can improve, also, in that aspect?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Sure. I think winning helps. I think when you're No. 3 in the world, people like you more than when you're 70 or 80 in the world, that's for sure.
But, I mean, Federer and Nadal are great sportsmen. They're great outside the court. I mean, especially Federer, what he does outside the court with his foundation and everything else, is awesome.
But, you know, still they're loved for what they do on court. They're loved because they are the two greatest players maybe of all time.
And, you know, I'm No. 3 in the world but I'm very, very far away from that.
Q. So my question is if you would like to be like they are also outside of the tennis court? Not just playing very well but being a human person.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Sure. But people don't know me as well as them outside the tennis court.
So, I think it's tougher to judge me outside the tennis court than them 'cause they've just been in the spotlight for longer. They've been in the spotlight way more.
So maybe in like 15 years' time when I'm 36 years old like Federer is, you can ask me again.
But right now, I'm trying to play tennis, I'm trying to win matches. I'm a nice person, believe it or not.
You know, my family likes me. I mean, most importantly, my dog likes me, so ...
Q. I'm not criticizing.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I'm happy with that.
Q. You said your dog likes you?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: He loves me. He doesn't like anybody that comes close to me when he's around.
Q. I was just interested to know one more question about Kyle's game. You've obviously played all the top players now pretty much. Where does his forehand rank in terms of sort of power and the revs on it?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: When he's on, definitely top 10. Maybe even higher when he's on. Like he was in the last few weeks.
His forehand is massive. He's very powerful. Goes for -- He's not scared to go for it, which is -- even in important moments like in the tiebreak, you saw him. He hit -- had a lot of forehand winners.
But, as I said, he has improved his backhand quite a lot. That's why he's up in the rankings. He made the semifinals in Australia.
I think his backhand is the shot that -- you know, you can see the most improvement on in the last 18 months. Before, it was a shaky shot . Now, you know, he barely misses it. And he goes backhand down the line great and tries to be aggressive with it, as well. So I think that shot he has improved dramatically.
Q. At the moment, five of the top nine players are the same height as you or taller. Do you think that tennis will continue to grow and --
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Five of the top ranked?
Q. Top nine players.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Okay.
Q. Same height as you or taller. Do you think tennis will continue to grow?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I think tennis is getting bigger and more powerful. And obviously, we all hit the ball -- try to hit the ball very hard.
Of course, we're missing Andy and Novak a little bit in that top nine, as you said, because they've been injured a little bit and they're on their way back.
So, we're missing Stan, as well. Who are all a little bit shorter than us, but ...
I think, yeah, I think that's the way tennis is going. I think the young guys are all pretty big, all pretty powerful. And I think that's the direction the game is going.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports