26th GERRY WEBER OPEN 2018 June 16–24

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Interview with Alexander Zverev

after his win against Jarkko Nieminen

Congratulations for today. Last week, Rafael Nadal said „what an unbelievable guy.“ If a great player says something like that do you feel the pressure or does it inspire you?
Alexander Zverev: I hadn’t heard that before. But it’s nice that somebody like Nadal thinks I have a future. Congratulations to him for being the first winner of the Mercedes Cup. Yes, I have to say I’m just happy that other players also think about me in that way and I'm looking forward to the future.
How do you rate today’s match?
Alexander Zverev: It was my first match here today. I actually got into the match fairly well. I think I played quite well, served good. I’m just happy that I won against a player like Jarkko and made it to the second round.
How comfortable do you feel on the grass here in Halle and what do you think are you capable of considering the draw?
Alexander Zverev: Next round, I might play Karalovic. Of course that is a completely different match compared to Jarkko. Jarkko plays very well from the baseline and is very stable and Ivo will hardly let me get into the rhythm. I’ll see how things will develop. But I hope to get further on in the tournament. I just have to try and keep on playing as good.
How does the grass here compare to Stuttgart?
Alexander Zverev: Stuttgart was much harder and faster. It was rather like a fast hard court actually. And it was also difficult to return. Both are very nice grass courts, of course, but I think Halle tops it.
One had the impression that you played more aggressively than in the first round in Stuttgart here today?
Alexander Zverev: It’s my second tournament on grass. In Stuttgart I didn’t know what I had to do on that surface yet, what the game was going to be like because I had never played a professional match on grass before. I once played in Lyon but that was different. The more you play on grass, the better you feel. And, I think if I keep playing like this I can play really well on grass.
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