Home » Defeated Zverev cops humiliating takedown

Defeated Zverev cops humiliating takedown

German tennis royalty Boris Becker has delivered a withering assessment of countryman Alexander Zverev’s surprise Australian Open exit, after the world No.3 crashed out in a straight-sets fourth-round defeat.

After world No.14 Canadian Denis Shapovalov charged to a 6-3 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 victory at Margaret Court Arena, Becker said he hadn’t seen Zverev “that passive for a very long time” and implored him to “leave (his) soul on the pitch”.

As Shapovalov advanced to a quarter-final clash with French world No.20 Gael Monfils, Zverev became the third of the original top-10 seeds of the tournament to be eliminated, after Andrey Rublev and Hubert Hurkacz.

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“Very disappointing,” Becker told Eurosport.

“Sascha never found his game, he didn’t develop dynamism or aggression.

“Right from the start you had the feeling that Shapovalov was always a step ahead. The Canadian was livelier. I haven’t seen Zverev that passive for a very long time.

“You can lose and play badly, but you still have to make an effort and leave your soul on the pitch. We missed that today.”

Zverev’s loss to Shapovalov followed victories over Daniel Altmaier, John Millman and Radu Albot.

The 19-title star lost control of his anger in the Shapovalov clash when his rival broke his serve to win the first game of the second set.

The breakthrough led to Zverev bashing his racquet on the surface of the court, leaving it mangulated.

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“Sascha’s dream of being No.1 in the world after the Australian Open now is over,” Becker said.

“He has to think about what happened there.

“He was brimming with confidence before, but something has happened from Australia these past few weeks.”

Becker touched on Zverev’s uncharacteristically poor serving performance.

“His big strength is his serve, but today it was just three aces with eight double faults,” Becker said.

“He waited too long on the baseline for that and only played the ball back hoping that the opponent would make a mistake. But Shapovalov is too good for that.

“He never really put pressure on Shapovalov and pushed.

“The round of 16 is not enough for a top player like Zverev.”

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