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June 3, 2019

Alexander Zverev

Paris, France

A. ZVEREV/F. Fognini

3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. How did you experience this match?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: It was a good match. I didn't start well and he did. He played very aggressive, hitting the ball very hard, which made it difficult.

But then after first set, I mean, I played three very good sets. Very solid from my part. And, you know, happy to be in the quarterfinals now.

Q. You have spoken recently about having to grow up a lot in the last few months.

Q. That doesn't sound easy, given your schedule, your competition, the fact that you have to be focused on so many things every day. What did you exactly mean by "growing up"?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: No, I never said I had to grow up. I am grown up now. But I had to do a lot of things that I usually don't do, as I said, a lot of management stuff, a lot of lawyer stuff, so things that I'm not used to doing.

You know, with the situation, I'm sure you know about it, with my ex-manager, it wasn't easy. So, you know, those kind of things took my focus away a little bit from tennis.

But, you know, I'm in the quarterfinals here, so something seems to be working all right now.

Q. You talked earlier about how it's nice not to have all the focus on you, all the pressure. How much do you think that's helped you this week kind of flying under the radar?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yeah, a lot. For me, the best thing that could have happened for me is how good Tsitsipas' clay court season was. That was the best thing that could have happened to me, to be honest.

I actually do believe that. I'm happy for him. You know, he played a great match yesterday. Unfortunately, not going his way. But, you know, both of them, Stan and him played unbelievably well. So he can be proud of something, as well.

But, yeah, as I said, he was kind of the new superstar all of a sudden. And for me, it was actually quite a nice thing that not all of the attention of the kind of NextGen thing is only going towards my way.

Q. Well played again today. I guess Ivan must have told you it was okay to win in four sets instead of five. But I know that one of the things you said earlier in the week is that you are working hard to step onto the court with a positive mindset and also be positive when you are on the court. Now we are seeing those results. I wanted to know what are some of the things that you think about to give yourself that positive mindset? What is it that makes you smile when you're here in Paris?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: You know, everything in my life is actually very good, so there is nothing major to worry about. I mean, obviously on the tennis court, as I said, I was not playing my best. I was not being aggressive. I was not being myself a little bit. That changed a little bit.

I mean, today you saw it, the break points down I had, I kind of won them in an aggressive way always or saved them. So that was a good thing.

I'm happy to get through, and hopefully I can get another chance to play a great match here. I mean, obviously last year's quarterfinal was very unfortunate to me, very sad, the ending, with an injury.

Hopefully this year will be different, and it will be a great match.

Q. In your opinion, which one was the difference between the match you played with Fabio in Monte-Carlo and this one?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Oh, Monte-Carlo, I played horrible. It's quite simple. I played defensive, I was not hitting the ball. I was serving bad. I was in a bad state of mind, as well.

I mean, as I said, Monte-Carlo was exactly in the middle of the period where, you know, everything was happening outside the court. I mean, Monte-Carlo was, as I said, was not a high-quality match. It was a lot of unforced errors.

Here I played solid. In the important moments I played aggressive. I mean, I think that was the difference. But you cannot compare Monte-Carlo to here, really.

Q. Both of you today, there was quite a few mishits particularly in the first set. Was it something to do with the weather conditions? I guess you both practiced yesterday in the heat and it dipped so much.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yeah, for sure. All of a sudden the ball was not flying. The ball was so much slower through the air. I had to get used to it first set. Yeah, I think that has a lot to do with it.

Q. Today you played many serve and volley. I wanted to know if this was a part of your tactic plan before the match or if it's a choice you made during the match?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: A little bit, a little bit of both. I mean, obviously I know that Fabio stands as far back as anybody on returns. So I have a little bit more time, especially if I serve angles well.

And if he goes with the slice -- or also, as a player, I think I didn't lose a lot on that play, which was good for me. Yeah, definitely part of tactics, I think.

Q. You said that you were frustrated with how you went out in the quarterfinals last year because of your injury. Does that mean that you feel more excited and hopeful going into this semifinal in terms of your form and your fitness?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Well, last year I felt physically fit, especially with having three five-set matches in the bank. I felt like I could last with anybody. But my hamstring stopped me.

So that was unfortunate, especially with Dominic, I knew it was going to be a tough match, which unfortunately really wasn't. I mean, after about half a set, I couldn't really play anymore.

I just wish that it's gonna be a great match and it's gonna be a tough battle, and that especially against Novak, the World No. 1, it's going to be interesting.

Q. I'd like to know when a player in the other side of the court, a player like Fognini who decides to either throw the racquet or gets angry, do you react? What is your reaction? Do you say, Oh, good, he's getting nervous and I'm taking advantage or you don't care or don't think of it? So you watch what happens on the other court and to your opponent or you don't?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yeah, I mean, you watch a little bit obviously if he gets frustrated, that means you're doing something right. But, you know, I'm somebody that can throw a racquet, as well. But when I throw it, it breaks usually (smiling). I don't just throw racquets. I'm not this kind of guy who just, like, bounces it and walks off and bounces it again and walks off. No, if I throw it one time, then you know I did.

Yeah, I mean, obviously Fabio is known for that kind of stuff, but then the next point he can come up with a ridiculous shot. This doesn't change for me.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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