After Nine Months, Alexander Zverev is Finally Feeling Pain-Free Again

The German is hoping to steadily improve as the season progresses. By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Monday February 20, 2023

Alexander Zverev has made his return to the tour in 2023, after suffering a harrowing ankle injury at Roland-Garros last June. But the real Zverev – the player that reached a career-high ranking of No.2 and owns 19 titles on tour – hasn’t quite surfaced yet.

Tennis Express

It’s normal for a player that tore three ligaments in his right ankle, then suffered a setback during his rehab (which Zverev did in September of last year) to need time to find his form.

For Zverev, who still can’t declare himself completely pain-free, the process will take time. The fact that he’s on court and playing his his fifth competition of the season – after United Cup, Australian Open, Davis Cup and Rotterdam – is already a great sign.

At Doha, where he will meet Andy Murray in the second round, Zverev was asked if the pain was still in the back of his mind every time he steps on court.

He says the pain is still there, but it’s getting better with each passing week.

“I don't have it in the back of my mind,” he said. “A few weeks ago I used to still get signals from my foot. I used to, once in a while, still get pain. But it is in the right direction, and I feel like I can play pretty freely now.

“I felt that way in Rotterdam. I thought I played a lot better in Rotterdam than I did the previous weeks, even though I lost in the second round, I lost in the second round to, in my opinion, a very good player who played well that week.”

Zverev says he is looking forward to gradually improving as the season continues.

“Obviously I'm looking forward to the next few weeks, and hopefully it still gets progressively better in the right direction.”

A setback that helped his recovery

No athlete wants to suffer a setback during rehabilitation, but Zverev said that in his case, a setback proved to be the perfect tonic.

Zverev told reporters that a low point of his season last September actually gave him the impetus to rest his ankle, which paid dividends later.

“At that moment I thought I would maybe already be able to play, and then they told me, “No, it's going to take another two, three months again,’” he said. “That was, for me, a little bit tough mentally. I packed my bags and went on holiday. I didn't do any rehab or anything like that again.

“But at the same time, that helped me a lot, because I think my foot did need rest. I was trying very hard to come back, and maybe I did a little bit too much.” Title: After Nine Months, Alexander Zverev is Finally Feeling Pain-Free Again
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Published Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2023 17:15:59 GMT

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