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August 24, 2018

Alexander Zverev

New York, NY, USA

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please, for Sascha Zverev.

Q. Talk about the decision to add to Ivan your team. What does he bring to the table for you?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yeah, obviously the relation was always there. We known each other for many years. We've known each other for a few years now. He was working with Andy. Jez Green was also part of the team as well. That's how it kind of started.

Yeah, I felt like after Wimbledon, it was a perfect time to kind of maybe try something new, try a thing like that.

Obviously the reason I'm with him is to compete and win the biggest tournaments in the world. That's the only reason he would join, as well. It's great having him here. Hopefully it will show in the results.

Q. Is the coaching physical or tactical?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: There's a lot of tactical work, for sure. There's a lot of mental work, as well, to kind of show me what it takes to compete for Grand Slams, to win Grand Slams. That for sure he has showed me a little bit.

But yeah, the training sessions are tough. The training sessions have always been tough when I work. I'm a pretty hard working guy, so I know what it takes. I'm not somebody who sits on my ass when I'm alone. I'm always constantly trying to figure out ways to get better. That hasn't changed that much. The training sessions are still tough. The training sessions are tough when I'm by myself.

Hopefully, as I said, it will show in the results.

Q. Boris Becker runs a program in Germany. Why did you not go with Boris, why did you choose Ivan?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Few reasons. Obviously the two options for me were Boris and him. I always said it's the only options that I thought of were those two people.

One reason was because team members of mine have worked with Ivan before. They know what he brings to the table. Jez, who is also a very good friend, not just a trainer, we've been talking a lot who would be a great person. He always felt that Ivan was. He just knows what Ivan brings to the table.

That was one. And second, I just thought Ivan's life right now is a little bit easier. I like Boris. I love Boris a lot. He's a great guy. I've texted him and talked to him before announcing this thing with Ivan. I said, Look, would have loved to work with you, and maybe in the future it will hopefully work out, as well. But right now I just thought Ivan would be better.

Q. Is there a timeframe?

Q. (No microphone.)
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: No, no timeframe. As long as it works. If I win the US Open here, it's going to be probably a little while (laughter).

Q. Roger Federer said the next generation are getting closer and closer to a breakthrough. Can this be that slam? Can you be that player?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I'm getting asked that question every slam I play.

I hope so. I'm doing everything I can to make it be. I'm trying to play my best tennis here in New York, which I've never really done before. I've never really played the best tennis here. I'm trying to change that. I'm trying to change it this year. Hopefully it will work out that way.

Q. Why do you think you haven't played your best tennis here?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Last year I was a little burned out. Last year I played a lot, I won a lot. Mentally it was tough for me because everybody saw me for the first time as a favorite. That was new for me, as well. Expectations got ahead of me a little bit.

Years before, I was young. I didn't play my best. Just a few tough matches. Hopefully I have, like, 15 more US Opens to come. I'm pretty sure I'll play my best tennis at one of them.

Q. Players say New York can be very intense. Are you trying to do something outside the court?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I'm trying to not spend a lot of time outside of the city actually. I'm trying to be here, be in my hotel, just spend time with the close people of my team, my friends, that's it. That's a process that young players have to learn, as well. New York is different. We all know that. New York is a different kind of city. New York is a different kind of a vibe. It's a different kind of lifestyle, as well.

For us as tennis players, competing for one of the biggest tournaments in the world, it's different. We have young players, other players, that also try to learn that stuff.

Q. (Question about Ivan Lendl.)
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: As I said, I've always been a hard working guy, not just sitting around waiting for the results to come. I've always done everything I can.

Practices have probably gone up a little bit in intensity. They have gone up a little bit in value probably, as well. Just having him around on the court brings the value.

So far the relationship is going well. So far everything is going as it should. Hopefully it will continue so.

Q. How would you describe what Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have done this year?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Amazing. I mean, they all won a slam. They all won Masters Series. It's great to see them play at the level they are. It's great to see them all kind of back competing for Grand Slam titles, competing for the biggest tournaments in the world. Tennis is waiting for this for a long Tommy. This is the first time since Wimbledon last year that all the big four are back playing again. It's interesting to see.

Q. What does it mean to the guys that are seeking their first major?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: It makes it tougher. It's great. I think it's really good that they're back. I think it's really nice for tennis. I think it's really nice for us players because you want to win a Grand Slam in the tough way. You want to play and compete with the best players in the world. A Grand Slam is a Grand Slam, a historic tournament. Having them back, having them all playing the best tennis again is what makes it special for all the ones that haven't won it yet.

Q. (Question about Ivan Lendl and advice about playing the big four.)
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yeah, definitely there's a lot of tactical work, a lot of tactical talk. Against all sorts of players, not only the big four. Against other players, as well. So, yeah, as I said, he's a smart man, a great guy. Done it as a player, done it as a coach, so he knows what it takes. He knows how to do it. He knows how to make the best players even better. This is why I took him.

Yeah, (indiscernible) Olympics, we will play mixed doubles together. Also play doubles with my brother. This is my goal for the 2020 Olympics. Still two years away, so we'll see what happens till then.

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