Roland-Garros – Zverev: “The referees? They make mistakes, it’s human!”

Alexander Zverev believed it this Sunday. One set away from winning the first Grand Slam of his career, the German stumbled on a Carlos Alcaraz very great days, and ended up bowing, 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2, in 4h19. An end foutrageous for the German who had an eventful fortnight, where he notably came very close to elimination in the 3rd round against Tallon Griekspoor, but also in the face of Holger Rune in the round of 16. A result of which he can be proud with a little hindsight, but above all it is a second defeat in a Grand Slam final, in as many appearances. At 27, the German will have to digest, even if the scenario is very different this time. And if he effortlessly recognized the superiority of his opponent of the day, he nevertheless remained affected by a refereeing error, as he explained in a post-match press conference.

Alexander Zverev after his defeat in the final at Roland Garros

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“I lost my concentration”

Can you compare this Grand Slam, this final with the last one? How do you feel now compared to the last time and compared to this defeat? Have you progressed?

I think I gave it my all today. I did everything I could. In the fifth set there were times when I was unlucky. At 2-1, the second serve is out. I saw the Hawk-Eye data. This is what I saw. I broke up at that moment. In the following service game I had the possibility of breaking too. It could have gone the other way, but it is what it is. He played better than me in the fourth and fifth sets. It's like that. I feel like this final, I did everything I could. At the US Open, it was more me who gave the match away, it was different.

In the fourth set, did you hit the wall in the face? Have you lost energy?

Yes, I lost my concentration. I couldn't get enough strength in my legs. It was surprising because I usually don't get tired. I usually don't have cramps. I don't normally get tired. Against Carlos, the intensity is different. Maybe that's what happened. Maybe now I need to focus on my preparation, how I work on the physical side for example. And then, on the tennis side, I think I played well and he played well for three sets. Then I let a lot of shots go by.

“It’s frustrating…”

You talked about the second serve at 2-1, I think. It's frustrating because there won't be an electronic system for the lines until next year? Otherwise you would have won this game if it was next year. Did this distract you perhaps for the following points or did you manage to ignore all of this?

It depends. If you are down 3-1 in the fifth set or two everywhere, that's the big difference. It's frustrating, it's true in the end, but that's how it is. Referees make mistakes, they are human, it's normal, we have to accept it. In a situation like this, we would prefer that there were no errors.

Difficult result. Now let's talk about next week. What are you going to do ? Are you going to watch tennis, are you going to cut yourself off from everything?

Just now I'm still in the picture for Stuttgart. We'll see, we'll see.

If you're not in Stuttgart, what else could you do?

I do not know yet. The possibility of me playing in Stuttgart is close to my possibility of going out there, on the courts, and winning the final now. We will see. Tomorrow I'm going to Switzerland, to Flowbank. I will then probably take a flight to Berlin. There is a very important person I want to see. This is what I always do after my tournaments. Then we'll see.

“See what I can do to get to the same level as him”

I imagine you might like to have electronic decision-making systems in the future, even on clay. Other than that, how do you explain it? Alcaraz has won 11 of 12 times when playing until the fifth set on clay.

My statistics were the same before today at Roland Garros.

23 to 11.

No, at Roland Garros, I think it was 10 to 1. Anyway, we are both strong. He's a beast. The intensity of his tennis is incredible compared to other players. I'm sure he can do so many things. He changed his tactics a lot in the fifth set, he played higher, deeper so that I didn't have as much power in my shots with the shadow on the court too. It was slower. He's incredible as a player, he's fantastic. I have to look more at myself and look at my team and from there I will see what I can do to get to the same level as him.

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