Alexander Zverev needs to “get it together” and focus on being the best rather than the money he makes, according to Mats Wilander.
Zverev was beaten in straight sets in the Australian Open fourth round by Denis Shapovalov in one of the shocks of the tournament.
Speaking in Eurosport’s Cube, Wilander suggested that Zverev may not have had the correct attitude ahead of the match and recalled comments the world No. 3 made following his third round win over Radu Albot.
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Asked by Eurosport’s Alize Lim about the sacrifices he had made to make it tennis, Zverev spoke of the financial rewards of being a top player.
“It’s a sacrifice but it’s something I enjoy doing. I can make good money from it, and good living with it,” he said.
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Following the Shapovalov defeat, Wilander was quick to point out that the very best in the business rarely speak about finances as their motivation.
“I thought it was interesting when you asked him about sacrifices that you make when you’re on tour,” Wilander told Lim.
“I’ve never really heard Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic mention money and Sascha actually mentioned that ‘yeah being away from home blah blah blah, but it’s a good job, I’m gonna make a bunch of money’ and I’m like, whoa, that is interesting.”
Zverev, 24, is yet to win a Gland Slam but has won the World Tour Finals twice as well as Olympic gold in Tokyo last summer.
Arriving in Melbourne as one of the favourites, Zverev’s early exit was a shock and Wilander believes the German needs to look to emulating the approach of the big three if he is to fulfil his potential.
“Ranking points, championships, I get it. So I hope Sasha gets it together that he actually just doesn’t want to be No. 1, but actually needs deep in his heart to be the best player that he can be and doesn’t hope that it just comes to him automatically,” continued Wilander.
“We’re used to this with Rafa and Roger and Novak. They have set the bar.
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“They set the bar so high, these three, that we come to expect that’s what you have to do. It’s so tough to do.
“Sascha will find it I think. He will still be No. 1. I think he will win a …….