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October 30, 2018

Alexander Zverev

Paris, France

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. A lot of people talk about the younger generation. Why do you think you've been able to break through?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I think that a lot of other young guys are playing great. I think there's a lot of young guys being top 20, top 30 now. You know, I've just managed to win maybe a few more matches here and there and kind of get to the later stages of the big tournaments. But there's a lot of other young guys that are doing great. Tsitsipas is doing really well, Shapovalov has been doing really well this year I thought, especially with the expectations on his shoulders. It is not easy for us young guys sometimes, you know, we get expected too much from us.

And it's interesting how to see the other young guys handle it as well and kind of see how it goes. I think Khachanov and Medvedev are playing great. But, you know, we'll see what the future holds because I think the other young guys are going to get to the later stages of those tournaments as well soon.

Q. I don't know if you have been told, but a letter has supposedly been sent to the ITF a few days ago signed by top players about the Davis Cup format change. Have you signed it?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I've never heard about this. I've been told about it in Basel actually as well. And I have never heard about any letter. So, I mean, I don't know if it exists or not, to be honest.

Q. So you did not?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I did not sign anything.

Q. So younger siblings often learn from watching the older. What have you learned from watching Mischa's career that's really helping you?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I mean, different things. Sometimes very positive things, sometimes, you know, the mistakes he's done as well. To see kind of somebody that's kind of already been through it is very helpful obviously. He's been on tour for ten-plus years already, and seeing what he does, seeing how professional you have to be to be on top of the game. Because there have been some years that he hasn't been at the standard that he is now and you drop a lot immediately in tennis, kind of. You know, doesn't give you a lot of room.

You have to really always be on top of your game and really always try to be as professional and as good as you can be.

Q. Obviously this is one of the last tournaments of the season, last one unless you are lucky and you play in the finals. So players sort of draw a line on their season. Your season has been pretty similar to last one ranking-wise and trophy-wise. So it's sort of like a stabilizing situation. You stabilized last season more than like improving it. Are you happy of being at this point now?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yeah, I mean, I think this season has been better than last year actually even though I only won one Masters, last year I won two. But I made two other finals. I've made five semifinals of Masters, which I didn't do last year.

And also the big difference this year is a lot of players are back from injury. Last year we had no Novak for half of the year. We had no Andy. Basically we had no Stan, and all those players back. So it was more difficult to have a season like that this year than I had last year.

And also it's more easy to do it for the first time always. It's more easy to have a top 5 year one time and then kind of fall backwards, like we have seen a lot of times from different players.

And I've kind of stabilized and improved on different things and I've stayed top five. And that, for me, is a huge improvement.

I've also improved at the Grand Slams, I thought, a little bit, especially in Roland Garros I thought I played well until I got injured unfortunately. But besides that I thought this season was even maybe better, and also, the season isn't over yet.

Q. In Chicago you had a bird's-eye opportunity to see your first opponent from the sidelines. Is there anything you picked up on Frances' game and why is he a dangerous first-round opponent?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I had to think for a second who he even played in Laver Cup, I don't remember, to be honest. I mean, I have known him since juniors, since we were about 12 years old. So not only just the Laver Cup match. I know his game pretty well, he knows my game pretty well. So there's no real surprises.

He's another young guy that's improving a lot and obviously getting better. Yeah, it was not really the Laver Cup thing. I do know how he plays.

Q. You mentioned that there's many good players in top ranking now, but you were the first one to really break through and the others are catching up right now. So how did it feel to have players you played with and spent time with in juniors back in the same tournaments you play after you sort of parted ways with them for a while?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: It was nice but also at the same time, I always played juniors with kind of two years above me. I never played juniors in my age.

So, yeah, I stopped playing juniors when I was 16 so I went to professionals. And actually, there was a lot of these 95 guys, 96 guys that were really good. I mean, at the beginning it was Kyrgios, it was Kokkinakis. You know, same level or better than me.

So it was never like I was the only young guy out there. And now obviously the young other guys that are there. There's a lot of my generation on tour always when I play.

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