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Alexander Zverev took issue with the ATP Tour’s match scheduling following his straight-set loss to rising star Carlos Alcaraz at the Madrid Open on Sunday.
Zverev, the No. 3-ranked tennis player in the world, said he believed he would’ve performed better if he was “fresh” for the match. He said the late matches the last few nights affected his sleeping. His semifinal match against Stefanos Tsitsipas started at around 11 p.m. local time and didn’t finish until about 1 a.m. local time.
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“The ATP’s job was an absolute disgrace this week. To play a final against Carlos Alcaraz, who for me is the best player in the world right now, in a Masters 1000 event … it is difficult,” Zverev said. “I had no coordination today. I had no coordination on my serve, I had no coordination on my ground strokes. I missed two overheads that were super easy because I see the ball and everything is moving in my eyes.
“I was a little bit late all of the time. My first step was not so quick. If you are playing the best players in the world, you have to be at your top. Otherwise, you will have no chance. Today I had no chance.”
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After his win over Tsitsipas, Zverev returned to the court to practice his serve, then worked with his physios and ate before getting back to the hotel.
“I think all of us have stayed up late, all of us maybe partied sometimes, but if you are staying up until 4 a.m., the next day you are dead,” he said. “I played the next day. If you’re doing it again, the next day until 5 a.m., you will have a difficult time to be even awake.”
Zverev has expressed his frustration about the scheduling of high-profile matches. He said it wasn’t “quite fair.”
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Alcaraz beat Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal before Zverev. He defeated the German star 6-3, 6-1.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.