The youngest Zverev had hit some balls with the best in the game long before he played his first official matches on the tour. He was with Mischa when his brother went for practice, so he got to know a lot of guys on tour, and everybody who saw him play came to the same conclusion: the little brother is going to be very, very good. He got the technique from Irina who practiced with him in the beginning, and Alexander Sr took over later and is still Zverev’s main coach.
For a while, the former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero was part of the team, but the relationship ended after six months. The collaboration with the former legend Ivan Lendl lasted three months longer – from summer 2018 to spring 2019 – before Zverev reverted to his dad.
‘The reason it works so well with my dad and my family,’ he said some time ago, ‘is that they help a lot on court, and without them I would never be where I am.
It’s still mainly family business with the Zverevs, but Sascha found a way to be his own man early on. ‘The reason it works so well with my dad and my family,’ he said some time ago, ‘is that they help a lot on court, and without them I would never be where I am.
But off-court I do a lot of stuff the way I like it, especially with friends. Dad knows that I need my freedom and that I have to be on my own from time to time.’ Nonetheless, it’s often open-door living in Monte Carlo, where they all own apartments on the same floor: the parents, Mischa and his wife and their young son, and Sascha.
In 2014, the British fitness coach Jez Green joined Team Zverev, and has proved a very important addition. Green came with an impressive reference, having turned the once skinny Andy Murray into a well-built athlete capable of lasting long matches.