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June 1, 2018

Alexander Zverev

Paris, France

A. ZVEREV/D. Dzumhur

6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

ALEXANDER ZVEREV: My man from Yorkshire gets the first question. Come on.

Q. Guten tag.

Q. You had great support on center court today with lots of people cheering you on. You have also got lots of fans back in Yorkshire now where I live. Tell us, what was the atmosphere like on center court and how did that help you today?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: It was great. I mean, the French crowd always is very loud, very energetic. It's a little bit like the Italian crowd, and I love playing in Italy. I love loud courts, loud crowds. It was pretty full the whole match and actually a lot of excitement in the match.

So it was a great win, but also, you know, being out there was very special.

Q. What kind of inner battles were going on in your head as the match went on today?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: None. Mainly I was thinking what I was going to have for lunch at times. But, I mean, as I said, you try to win each point, you try to win each game. When you're down a match point, you're not thinking, Oh, how am I going to turn this match around? You're trying to win that exact point to be able to continue the match.

That's more what's going on in your head. It's not about, I'm going to try to do this, try to do that in the third set, I'm going to do this in the fourth set or something like that. That's not the way it is. You try to win each point and -- of course we have tactics -- but try to accomplish, you know, things in different games.

Q. Saving the match point, obviously it's huge. It must have felt great after. Once you got through that game, did you feel a little more relaxed?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I mean, it was a very tight match. It's normal there were a lot of nerves involved. In that moment, it's all about finding a way. Even if you're not playing your best, it's all about finding a way to win and finding the right solution to the right moment.

Q. Two things. He was serving for the match in the fourth set I think 5-4. Wondered what changed then or from your point of view he got nerves. It looked like he varied the rhythm quite well. A lot of dropshots that cut you short?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yeah, but that's what he does. That's what he's known for. A lot of dropshots, and the dropshots he was hitting were kind of ridiculous.

But, yeah, I think he felt a little bit the nerves. Obviously that's normal. But I played a pretty good game to break.

Fortunate for me that was what happened, and I played a great tiebreak to go in the fifth.

Q. He didn't put any first serve when he was serving for the match, so maybe he was a bit struggling and did probably help you a bit. I'd like to know, why do you think in slams and when you have to play best of five, very often you go to the fifth set? 32%. In 28 matches you went nine times to the fifth set. You won five. You lost four. There is a reason, your opinion? Sometimes you played five sets with players that normally in a small tournament... Youzhny, Gabashvili...
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: When I played five sets when I was 17 years old, about -- Youzhny, as well. You're taking matches from four years ago.

Q. Last year.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Okay, last year.

Q. Just asking.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I'm trying to win matches. If it takes me three sets, great. If it takes me five sets, that's also great. But I'm trying to win. That's all that matters. It doesn't matter how long it goes. It doesn't matter how much time I'll spend on court. It doesn't matter if it goes 9-7 in the fifth or it goes 6-1, 6-1, 6-2. For me is the same.

Now I'm in the next round, and that's all that matters. I'm going to play in two days' time, and that's it. There is nothing more to it.

Q. Tonight we are having a discussion with Roger Rasheed what it takes to coach huge talents in tennis. We are considering you as a huge talent. I want to know on your perspective what you expect from a coach as a very talented tennis player.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I mean, the coach is the person that gives you confidence in the moments where you don't have it yourself. A coach will see what you need to work on before, you know, it goes wrong. And that's what my dad has been doing great for the past, you know, 20 years with me. So for me, he's one of the best coaches, as well, because he can see, he can read what I need before I actually need it on the match court.

We are always going to work on different things. Also tactical things. They are going to watch matches of opponents, previous matches, spot things. They're going to kind of have the same mind as you and kind of get into your body and play the game with you as you are, because, I mean, I will not be able to play like Federer, I will not be able to play like Nadal so I have to find my ways to hurt different opponents. I think that's what a coach will give you. He'll give you the right directions to do that.

Q. You said this was the first time you being on the main court. Just wondering how much you liked it, what it was like to walk on it.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: No, it was not the first time. I lost to Verdasco last year. It was the first time I won a match there.

Q. Won a match, okay.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Which is great, because, you know, hopefully I will be on this court for many more years, and for many more times.

It's great to get that kind of behind you and with such a match, as well. I remember my first-ever Grand Slam major match was against Gabashvili, and it was 9-7 in the fifth. To start your Grand Slam career like that was awesome and to win my first match on center court 7-5 in the fifth was also a way that I think there is no better way.

Q. From the outside, this victory and following up on the fifth set, five-setter in the previous round, seems significant in terms of getting to the fourth round here for the first time, beating a top 50 player in a Grand Slam for the first time. To you, does this feel like an important back-to-back win for you, an important step forward for you or is it just another win?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: No, I think it was important to kind of see for myself that I can win back-to-back five-set matches and both very difficult physical matches.

I was feeling fine physically, so for me that gives me a lot of confidence going deep into the fifth set, going long matches on this kind of surface. And knowing that I'm fit enough to last as long as I want.

So this gives me a lot of confidence, of course, and I think it was an important point to prove to myself, as well.

Q. Don't give away any great secrets, but I was interested to know about your dad as a coach. How has he known things specifically to do to change in your game before you knew that, or what has he spotted in opponents? Could you just give an example or two.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: For me, a great coach can read a 12-year-old, 13-year-old kid, how he's going to play when he's 20, 21, 22, and to structure the game that way for him to be successful when he's older and not necessarily when he's 14 or 15. Because when you're 14 or 15 you're playing juniors, it's great to be the best there but it's not the most important thing.

You know, I was never No. 1 in Europe on the 14s. I was never "the" "the" best, but he always said you have to play a certain way. You have to play this way for later to be the best.

I think he saw that when I was 12, 13 years old and structured my game that way in practice obviously, as well. Same goes with my brother because my brother has a completely different game style. And, you know, training two players like that that are completely different shows how much skill you have to have as a coach.

Q. How surprised were you that he didn't serve it out at 5-4, lost the tiebreak, was a break down, that he could still make it a match?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Not surprised at all. He's one of the biggest competitors that we have. He's a tough opponent no matter where you play him, and especially on this surface and especially over long matches because he's so fit. I was not surprised.

As I said, it's never easy. It's a Grand Slam. People play their best tennis at Grand Slams, especially on big courts against higher-ranked opponents. For me, this was a normal thing to see.

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