2017 French Open player profile: Alexander Zverev

The German heads into Paris at his highest ever ranking on the ATP tour as he looks to cause a stir and go far.

2017 French Open player profile: Alexander Zverev
Alexander Zverev after winning the title in Rome last weekend (Getty/Giuseppe Bellini)

One of the most surprising notable contenders for the French Open title is 10th seed Alexander Zverev, who is at his career-high ranking following a strong start to 2017.

The German has never made it to the second week at a Grand Slam tournament, but looks set to do so at his second appearance in Paris, as he heads into the tournament with a lot of confidence.

Early 2017 results

Zverev started the season with a solid, if unspectacular, result at the Australian Open, losing in the third round to Rafael Nadal in a five-set epic, though rebounded to take his second ATP title in Montpellier, beating Richard Gasquet in the final.

Alexander Zverev in action against Richard Gasquet in the final in Montpellier (Getty/Jean Catuffe)
Alexander Zverev in action against Richard Gasquet in the final in Montpellier (Getty/Jean Catuffe)

The German then went through a little dip, losing in the first round in both Rotterdam and Marseille, and lost in the third round of Indian Wells to Nick Kyrgios. Zverev regained some form however in Miami, where he reached the quarterfinals, beating Stan Wawrinka on his way, before once again falling to Kyrgios.

On Clay in 2017

Like his start to the season in Melbourne, it was a solid but unexciting start to the clay court season for the German. He reached the third round in Monte-Carlo, where he lost heavily to Nadal, and also reached the third round in Barcelona, where he fell in a surprise defeat to qualifier Hyeon Chung.

Alexander Zverev after winning the title in Munich (Getty/Alexander Hassenstein)
Alexander Zverev after winning the title in Munich (Getty/Alexander Hassenstein)

Things picked up for Zverev on home soil in Munich, where he won his second ATP title of 2017 by beating Roberto Bautista Agut in the semifinals, before beating Guido Pella in the final. The German then made the quarterfinals in Madrid, beating the likes of Marin Cilic and Tomas Berdych before falling to Pablo Cuevas.

After seemingly building up some momentum in Munich and Madrid, Zverev reached the pinnacle of his career so far as he took his first ever Masters 1000 title in Rome. Seeded 16th, the German beat Kevin Anderson, Viktor Troicki and Fabio Fognini early on before overcoming Milos Raonic in the quarterfinals, John Isner in the semifinals, and then easing past Novak Djokovic, not facing a break point, in the final. This win put him in the top 10 of the rankings for the first time, and undoubtedly puts him in contention at Roland Garros.

Best French Open result

Zverev has only one previous appearance at the French Open; after failing to qualify in 2015, his ranking last year was high enough for him to make the main draw, where he recording a solid run to the third round.

Alexander Zverev in action during his third round loss to Dominic Thiem at the French Open last year (Getty/Clive Brunskill)
Alexander Zverev in action during his third round loss to Dominic Thiem at the French Open last year (Getty/Clive Brunskill)

Unseeded, Zverev overcame Pierre-Hugues Herbert in four sets in the first round, before recording another four sets win over another Frenchman, Stephane Robert, in the second round. He then fell in third round to 13th seed Dominic Thiem in four sets, though it seems likely that he will go at least one step further this year.


Share on Facebook