September 9, 2020
It has been a strange fortnight for Alexander Zverev.
One minute he’s losing to Andy Murray at Flushing Meadows, the next minute he has reached a Grand Slam semi-final at the same venue.
He could go further, too, after hitting back to beat Borna Coric.
As Sascha said: ‘I don’t want to stop here. We’ll see how far I can go.’
Pablo Carreno Busta waits in the semi-final. He beat Denis Shapovalov but it took him more than four hours.
We think Zverev will be fresher for that clash. And he can reach his first Grand Slam showpiece if his serve is on-song.
Imagine what that could do for Zverev’s confidence!
Even if he were to lose the US Open final to, say, Dominic Thiem, he would still have grown in stature in New York.
Who knows what Zverev can achieve at Wimbledon 2021? He is due some success on grass.
His Grand Slam journeys are now becoming more exciting. He is learning to cope with the pressure of expectation.
Extraordinary to think that Zverev’s New York rollercoaster started with a deeply worrying defeat to Murray in the Southern and Western Open.
Sascha points to the fact that he had just heard his father had tested positive for Coronavirus and his mind wasn’t on the job.
His serve certainly fell apart against Murray and his poor performance was understandable.
Even against Coric, however, Sascha wasn’t exactly pulling up any trees. Especially in the first set.
But there were flashes of a spectacular and more complete player.
His will to win ultimately shone through as he triumphed 1-6, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-1), 6-3.
In doing so, Zverev became the first German to reach a US Open semi-final since Boris Becker back in 1995.
Sascha’s big-match and big-point mentality is improving. The winning habit isn’t something we have always seen from Zverev at Slams.
So it is great to see him moving in the right direction. And that can only be good for Wimbledon 2021 too.
A first Grand Slam final beckons. Pablo Carreno Busta admitted he was ‘destroyed but happy’ after beating Shapovalov 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-4), 0-6, 6-3.
He turned it round after a fourth-set bagel with the help of a medical time-out.
Zverev must fancy his chances. And he can hope that Thiem and Daniil Medvedev meet and almost destroy each other in the other semi-final.
We still have a feeling that Thiem will take his first Grand Slam title. He is playing at a different level right now.
But make no mistake, these are exciting times for Alexander Zverev.
Yet another star has shown he could be ready for a deep run at Wimbledon 2021.
For now, Sascha will only be thinking about the US Open.
It really is there for the taking.