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'I hope I’ll be pain-free very shortly”, Alexander Zverev playing through the pain barrier in Acapulco

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 26 Feb 2019
  • Alexander Zverev says he still feels some pain in his ankle ahead of his return to action in Acapulco
  • Zverev injured his ankle just before the Australian Open, but he competed in Melbourne,before pulling out of Rotterdam
  • The Abierto Mexicano Telcel is live from Acapulco from 25 February to 2 March
Alexander Zverev. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

World No. 3, Alexander Zverev returns to action this week in Acapulco, but the German admits that he still feels pain in his ankle as he prepares for a tricky first round meeting with Australian teenager, Alexei Popyrin.

Zverev hurt his ankle just days before the Australian Open, but he still went ahead with the tournament, where he reached the fourth round before exiting tamely in a lackluster 6-1 6-1 7-6 defeat to Milos Raonic. The German subsequently turned out for his country in their Davis Cup tie against Hungary in Frankfurt, scoring victories over Gabor Borsos and Peter Nagy as the hosts whitewashed the Hungarians to book their place in November’s final in Madrid (Zverev has said he will not feature in the revamped Davis Cup final).

The German was initially scheduled to return to the ATP World Tour at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, but he pulled out of the event due to his ankle problems. Ahead of his return in Acapulco, Zverev says he still wears tape on the ankle, but hopes the pain will go away very soon.

“I had to take Rotterdam off, unfortunately, and I was with a doctor that I’ve seen for a long time already,” Zverev said. “I hope it’s going to get better, and I hope I’ll be pain-free very shortly.”

Alexander Zverev. (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)
With his relatively early exit at the Australian Open, and his short absence from the tour due to his ankle injury, Zverev has played very little tennis this season, but the German is looking to get really kick-start his season in Acapulco, as the year heads into a very busy period. Zverev will not fret over his slow start, as he had also taken some time to get going last season, exiting early in Melbourne, Rotterdam and Indian Wells, before exploding to life with a runner-up finish in Miami. He didn’t look back from there, as he went on to claim titles in Munich, Madrid, Washington, and the big one at the Nitto ATP Finals in London.

“Every player has played more than me, basically. But I’m looking forward to it”, Zverev said. “I’m looking forward to really getting going now because it’s a busy schedule with the Masters [1000] series coming up [in Indian Wells and Miami] and also on clay I have a very busy schedule... It’s very exciting.” 

The 21-year-old is competing in Acapulco for the second straight year, after making the semi-finals on debut last season, beating Mackenzie McDonald, Peter Gojowczyk and Ryan Harrison before falling to Juan Martin del Potro.

The second seed headlines a relatively lighter bottom half of the draw in Acapulco, with Alex De Minaur, Diego Schwartzman and Frances Tiafoe as the other seeded players in section of the draw. Should the seedings hold, he will face Rafael Nadal in the final, but the top seeded Spaniard, who is also making his first appearance on the tour since the Australian Open, has got a much tougher route, with potential matches against Nick Kyrgios and Stan Wawrinka in the second round and quarter finals respectively, while big-serving American, John Isner is a potential semi-final opponent.

ATP Acapulco is live from Acapulco from 25 February - 2 March

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"I hope I’ll be pain-free very shortly”, Alexander Zverev playing through the pain barrier in Acapulco

Alexander Zverev has admitted that the ankle injury that kept him out of Rotterdam is not completely healed ahead of his return to action in Acapulco

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