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July 6, 2018

Alexander Zverev

Wimbledon, London, England

A. ZVEREV/T. Fritz

6-4, 5-7, 6-7, 6-1, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Are you a little bit masochist?

Q. Yes.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: What's a masochist?

Q. You go down two sets here, then you win 6-2, 6-1.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I don't know what a masochist is. I won 6-1, 6-2 fourth and fifth. It was very easy.

Q. You always go down. How do you explain that?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yesterday for me it was tough to play for multiple reasons. One, I had a stomach virus. Actually after the second set when I went to the bathroom, I threw up. I had stomach pain the whole match. I mean, as I said, I had to throw up. The night over, I didn't really eat anything. It was tough for me yesterday.

Second, on that, No. 1 court, I know that Wimbledon is used to be played till 9:00, past 9:00. For me, because it's such a closed court, for me the court is dark at 7:30. For me, we played in darkness for one and a half hours. That's why I couldn't really see his serve, I couldn't really break him. Neither could he.

For me the most part of the second set and third set, for me we played in darkness.

Q. What do you think you did well in the two sets today?

Q. Yes.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Seeing the ball big. I was returning much better, as I said, because it was brighter. From the baseline, I was hitting it big. Maybe rushed him a little bit more. Didn't give him as much time.

Q. Taylor said he felt you made an adjustment of stepping into the baseline more than yesterday. He thought you made a technical adjustment. He also said he felt last night the ball was moving a little bit slower because it was cooler in the evening. Would you agree with that?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yeah, I mean, partly I stepped in because, as I said, I was seeing the ball much better. I felt the ball much better on the racquet because it was dark. Yesterday I was kind of searching for it, looking for it, especially on the returns, especially from the baseline as well. I was missing balls that I usually don't miss just because I felt it was quite dark. It helped me a lot that we stopped after the third set. I don't think we could have played for much longer.

But, yeah, I mean, I didn't really panic because I thought if I play much better than yesterday, I knew that the conditions would help me, as well, I could easily win that match.

Q. I know you wear glasses or contacts.

Q. Does that make it tougher for you to track a ball in low light than other players?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I think we were both struggling, to be honest. We were both struggling on the returns. He didn't break me either, so...

But, you know, he would probably struggle on the returns even when it's bright, where I would probably make him play a little bit more, how I did today. So I think that helped, got us to a tiebreak in the third set, got us to deeper stages in the second set, as well.

For me, I have perfect vision with those contacts. I've tested it. I've done everything I can. For me, if I wouldn't feel comfortable with them, I would probably do laser surgery or something like that. I feel 100% comfortable. I play well in the indoor events, I play well in night sessions. I love playing night sessions. I made finals in Miami playing all nights. I've won the Madrid tournament playing only night session. I've gotten to the finals in Rome playing only night session.

For me, I actually like the light conditions, playing later in the day.

Q. You mentioned your stomach problem yesterday. How bad was the worst you were feeling yesterday? How different were you feeling today?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yesterday I had pain during the whole three sets. After the second set, I actually went to throw up during the toilet break, which then I felt a little bit better. But I felt very low energy.

Today in the warmup I was actually maybe thinking about it, not to play at all. I was very low energy. I didn't eat anything since yesterday. But then I thought, Well, if I don't feel well, it's going to be one set. If I feel better, it might be two. Thought I'd go out there and try.

Actually, the adrenaline pumped in. I felt great out there.

Q. You were saying how close Court 1 is. Do you think Wimbledon going forward should be looking at finishing Court 1 at 7:00, 7:30?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: No, next year there will be a roof and light. I think from next year, there won't be a problem.

Q. That's five straight five-setters. Varying opinions about whether or not you're out there too long, doing physical harm to your body, making it tougher for you down the road. How do you see it? Is it good for your confidence? Do you see it as a positive?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I mean, what can I do? I'm down two sets to one every single time when I play five sets. I'd rather go five than lose in four, be out of here, book a flight for me to go home tomorrow.

I'm in the tournament. I'm playing third round tomorrow. That's what matters for me.

Q. Do you feel more confident now that you're down 2-1 than you did a month ago?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I mean, I won a tough match. That's all that matters. Obviously winning a tough match sometimes gives you a lot of confidence. That's what I feel today. I feel like set four and five I played great tennis. That's what I'm going to take from this match.

Q. Nadal and Roger try to come in. Do you work in adding more variety to your game?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Says here I came to the net 31 times, so... That's enough for me. I'm not going to come in much more than that.

Q. You obviously have huge respect for Roger. As a young player, what is the most inspiring thing about him?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: The way he plays the game. I mean, he doesn't give his opponents anything. If he can win in three straight sets very easily, he'll do that. He kind of has an ease to it. It's fun to watch him. It's great to watch him.

As a fan as a young kid, that's what I always liked. Right now I'm trying not to be a fan any more. I'm trying to compete with him, trying to play against him, try to find ways.

It's a little different now.

Q. You're taking big steps in figuring out how to do better at Grand Slam tournaments. What are you learning?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I mean, the difference between now and a year ago, probably a little longer ago, is that when I'm down two sets to one or something like that, I don't really panic. I'm very calm. I try to find ways to win. I think that's a very big difference.

But, you know, players always learn. Players always try to find ways. Players always try to get better. I think even Roger now, at the age of 36, he's still trying to find ways to get better, to compete at the highest level.

I think if you don't get better, you stay the same. For me, I mean, I will try to find ways to get better for the next 15 years hopefully.

Q. Can you talk a little about how important downtime is for a young athlete like yourself, and what do you do when you get away from the game?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: You mean when I'm off?

Q. Yes.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I mean, off-season I go to the Maldives quite often. That's what I do. Even when I'm home in Monaco during the summertime, spend time with the family on a small boat maybe. Just try to get energy. Just try to have good vacation, be away from the sport really when you have the time.

When you're back at training, when you're back focusing and trying to do the best to get better, that's what you have to do, not think about downtime. When you have downtime, think about downtime. When you're on the tennis court trying to get better, that's what you should be thinking of.

Q. Gulbis next. He was saying he's known you for a long time, your brother's age roughly. What are earliest memories of Ernests?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: When he was like 18 or 19 years old, before the Australian Open, he came to Hamburg to practice with my brother. He was staying in our house actually. My mom was cooking lunch and dinner for him. I actually know him, his family quite well.

It's going to be a fun match. He's been struggling a little bit. I hope he can get back very soon. He's playing great again. He won, what, five matches here with the quallies. I wish him nothing but the best.

But, you know, tomorrow I'll try my best to win.

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