November 18, 2020
London, England, UK
A. ZVEREV/D. Schwartzman
6-3, 4-6, 6-3
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. It's very quiet where you are. Not a lot of human interaction. Sometimes when it's like that, all you have is your own thoughts in your head. Given the situation with you personally, how have you dealt with that this week?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Well, the same way I have been dealing with it the last few weeks now. Nothing's changing. I think I have said enough about that.
I'm here to play tennis, and I did my job today. I've got to do it again on Friday.
Q. You took some risk in the second set when you were up one break. I don't know if you got somehow distracted. But apart from that, what do you think about Djokovic and Pospisil coming back from PTPA to ATP in a way, even if they haven't left the PTPA completely? They will stay in both associations as far as I understood.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I don't quite know what you mean, to be honest. What do you mean, "came back, left"?
Q. They said that, you know, they had quit the ATP, the position that they had, Djokovic and Pospisil, and now they are saying that they want to join again the ATP. I don't know if you knew it or...
THE MODERATOR: I think you mean the player council. Not the ATP.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I'm not in the player council, so I don't quite know what's going on there.
Q. A question about Australia. Now that you'll all be flying out a little bit later than you thought you would, do you think it's very important that you get to play warmup events before the Australian Open, even if that means pushing the start date back by a week or two?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yeah, I think, yeah. First few matches, especially for me, are quite scrappy in the year. So I would love to play maybe, yeah, one event, two events, maybe ATP Cup before that.
But, you know, credit to Tennis Australia and to Craig Tiley. I think they are doing the best they can. I think the Australian government is being very cautious about it, because they have no cases actually in Australia. They have, what, 13 cases or something like that. I read that somewhere. So they want to keep it that way.
Obviously if 3,000 people for the tennis all of a sudden arrive in Australia, there will be cases. There is no doubt about it. I think if 3,000 people are tested, there are going to be a few cases that are positive.
So, yeah, they are very cautious about it. But, yeah, we'll see if the Australian Open will happen. I'm looking forward to it. I would love to play.
Q. The other day you answer me that if you play as against Medvedev you couldn't win any game in the group. Did you feel today that you improved your game?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Yeah, a lot. I feel like I played a lot better. But I think this is also a process for me. You know, I didn't practice that much.
After Paris I still had a little bit of an injury. I need to get used to it, and I hope that every match will be better. I hope on Friday will be even better, because that's what I need against Novak.
Q. Back on Australia, if the situation is that players cannot arrive in Australia until January 1, they have to quarantine for 14 days and they can't even go outside to practice, do you think is it realistic to start the Australian Open...
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I don't think that's an option, to be honest. I think we talked about it. I think if that is the case, we will be able to practice. We won't be able to play tournaments, but I think we will be able to practice.
Because if we can't even practice for 14 days and we have to go out to play the Australian Open, it's a lottery. I mean, you can basically flip a coin who wins.
Q. On Australia again, if it's the case that you're allowed to practice but not play tournaments, do you think the ideal solution would be that the Australian Open is pushed back a week or two?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Look, there is a lot more to it than just what I think. I think there is a lot more politics to it. I think that tournaments after the Australian Open, the European swing will be affected. I think a lot of other things are affected by it.
I hope we do find a way to be able to play one or two weeks before the Australian Open. But in general, I just hope the Australian Open happens, because right now everything is so unsure that we don't know. Australia is definitely one of my favorite slams, and I would love to go there next year.
Q. A fairly general question. You have been on tour obviously quite a few years now. What's the most challenging part of tennis for you now? Is it the physical side of tennis, training, actual technique of shots, or is it a mental challenge?
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: I mean, for me, I think the long season. When we have a regular season we play 11 months. By the end of it, especially for the European tour which is indoors, which is rather cold, you don't see the daylight that much, that can be a little bit challenging mentally.
But, you know, all in all, tennis is such a sport that you have to be able to do everything well. You have to have the perfect technique to hit tennis balls. You have to be physically very strong to last five sets. You have to be mentally strong because there is always going to be up-and-downs in a tennis match, so I think it's an all-around sport.
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