Alexander Zverev has criticized the organizers of Wimbledon for the appointments of the past few days. Because of the heavy rain in London, the Olympic tennis champion played his first-round game against Dutch qualifier Gijs Brouwer on Thursday instead of Tuesday. Other players such as record Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic or the Italian Jannik Sinner had already played their second round games in London on Wednesday.
“Novak has won 23 Grand Slam tournaments. It is logical that he plays every game here on Center Court,” said Zverev: “He will never play second place anywhere, and that is absolutely understandable.” However, the 21-year-old Sinner did in the second largest stadium on Wednesday was scheduled for the second time, while Zverev had not even played, caused a lack of understanding among the German number one.
“I like Jannik very much – as a person and as a player,” Zverev said in advance. But: “He is an incredible player and will still win a lot. But there were other names in the draw who hadn’t played first round. Like Matteo Berrettini, for example, who was in the final here, or me. I don’t know whether Jannik has to be put in a place with a roof for a second-round match. There were other names who have achieved more in tennis than Jannik. I think they had options there.”
The delays on Tuesday and Wednesday forced Zverev to play again this Friday. The 26-year-old now has to deal with the Japanese lucky loser Yosuke Watanuki after his lackluster three-set win against Brouwer.
“There’s a reason why a Grand Slam tournament lasts two weeks: Because we need breaks between the best-of-five matches,” said Zverev: “Breaks that I won’t have in the next few days. Looking ahead to the second week, that is definitely not a physical advantage.”