What's wrong in Zverev's game ?

raph6

Semi-Pro
I just watched the highlights of his match against Kohlschreiber and I don't understand why his game is not working.

The guy has a monster backhand, an irregular but heavy forehand, a good serve etc... His game could be like Cilic's but him doesn't work. Do you have serious explanations ?

I feel like he doesn't get enough free points with his serve, maybe there is too much margin with his targets ? And do you also feel his groundstrokes dont have the power they should have with his height ?
 

Coolio

Professional
He is too balanced. The modern game, you want the forehand to be a weapon and run around the backhand and rip crazy angles and knock off easy volleys.
He does have a tendency to just bludgeon massive groundies to safe targets. You have to play a little more to the lines on occasions and have simple serve and forehand combos you can rinse and repeat.

Nadal- Backhand is his shield. Forehand is his sword.
Federer- Backhand shield. Forehand sword.
Thiem- Backhand shield. Forehand sword.
Del Potro- Backhand shield. Forehand sword.
Murray's peak was when his forehand was his weapon and he was blasting it.
Djokovic at his best is when his forehand is opening the court and ripping winners and he never misses backhands.

Being balanced in the modern game is not ideal. It's better to have a solid backhand and a world class forehand.

Forehand dominant Joao Sousa with his crappy spinny backhand just beat balanced well rounded Lucas Pouille.
 
He is too balanced. The modern game, you want the forehand to be a weapon and run around the backhand and rip crazy angles and knock off easy volleys.
He does have a tendency to just bludgeon massive groundies to safe targets. You have to play a little more to the lines on occasions and have simple serve and forehand combos you can rinse and repeat.

Nadal- Backhand is his shield. Forehand is his sword.
Federer- Backhand shield. Forehand sword.
Thiem- Backhand shield. Forehand sword.
Del Potro- Backhand shield. Forehand sword.
Murray's peak was when his forehand was his weapon and he was blasting it.
Djokovic at his best is when his forehand is opening the court and ripping winners and he never misses backhands.

Being balanced in the modern game is not ideal. It's better to have a solid backhand and a world class forehand.

Forehand dominant Joao Sousa with his crappy spinny backhand just beat balanced well rounded Lucas Pouille.
Having one of the best BH on tour is definitely no liability, but Zverev’s FH is basically mediocre. It has not evolved into a true weapon like Delpo’s or Fed’s. He should basically model his game on pre-surgery Delpo and that alone will win him some slams.
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
Cilic has a much better FH and his serve is probably more reliable when he's playing well. Zverev just does not have the consistent weaponry to carry him through B05 matches.
 

onehandbh

Legend
  • serve is not enough of a weapon — especially for someone 6’6”
  • weak backhand slice
  • weak net game
  • just a okay mover, but height and reach makes up for it
 

reaper

Legend
Cilic has a much better FH and his serve is probably more reliable when he's playing well. Zverev just does not have the consistent weaponry to carry him through B05 matches.
Maybe...but he often loses BO5 matches in 4 sets. IE he only wins 1 set. You need to win 2 sets to win a BO3 which he manages, but for some reason can't win 2 sets in BO5.
 

raph6

Semi-Pro
He is too balanced. The modern game, you want the forehand to be a weapon and run around the backhand and rip crazy angles and knock off easy volleys.
He does have a tendency to just bludgeon massive groundies to safe targets. You have to play a little more to the lines on occasions and have simple serve and forehand combos you can rinse and repeat.

Nadal- Backhand is his shield. Forehand is his sword.
Federer- Backhand shield. Forehand sword.
Thiem- Backhand shield. Forehand sword.
Del Potro- Backhand shield. Forehand sword.
Murray's peak was when his forehand was his weapon and he was blasting it.
Djokovic at his best is when his forehand is opening the court and ripping winners and he never misses backhands.

Being balanced in the modern game is not ideal. It's better to have a solid backhand and a world class forehand.

Forehand dominant Joao Sousa with his crappy spinny backhand just beat balanced well rounded Lucas Pouille.
I don't think he is balanced (his BH is way more reliable than his FH) but it's true that he lacks a killer shot. Do you think he should turn around his FH to hit huges BH more often ?
 

raph6

Semi-Pro
You saw that from the Kohli highlights? Don't think so.

The mystery is how his great forehand of the last month's vanishes upon entering a slam.

Too little aggression.
Problem isn't his game, he just shrivels up on the big stage.
https://video.eurosport.fr/tennis/us-open/2018/video-the-coach-le-manque-d-agressivite-pour-sauver-des-balles-de-break-la-faiblesse-de-zverev_vid1119355/video.shtml

In this video, Patrick Mouratoglou shows that his 2nd serve slow down when Zverev is facing break points. He also proves that he is not agressive enough when playing these points. So yes it seems to be mental.
 

beltsman

Legend
I just watched the highlights of his match against Kohlschreiber and I don't understand why his game is not working.

The guy has a monster backhand, an irregular but heavy forehand, a good serve etc... His game could be like Cilic's but him doesn't work. Do you have serious explanations ?

I feel like he doesn't get enough free points with his serve, maybe there is too much margin with his targets ? And do you also feel his groundstrokes dont have the power they should have with his height ?
He plays a conservatively aggressive game. He lacks variety. When things go wrong, he doesn't have much of a plan B.

Why do things go wrong? Because his serve is good but not great, his second serve sucks, and his FH is spotty.
 

Bhagi Katbamna

Hall of Fame
Mentally he doesn't seem prepared to have long grinding matches. It seems that the fact that he shows up and plays his routine match, he should win because he's number 4 in the world. When someone is playing well against him, he seems to mentally decide that today is not his day and oh, well.
 

Don Felder

Semi-Pro
I've never really understood the hype. First of all, even if he had all the talent in the world -- which hype aside he doesn't -- we still haven't seen a guy this tall be able to stay healthy enough and be consistent enough to truly dominate the game. Watching Zverev, I've seen a poor man's Berdych thus far. Unless he greatly improves his FH, physical strength, mental toughness, and net game, I think he would do well to have a career as good as Berdy.
 
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flanker2000fr

Professional
Mentally he doesn't seem prepared to have long grinding matches. It seems that the fact that he shows up and plays his routine match, he should win because he's number 4 in the world. When someone is playing well against him, he seems to mentally decide that today is not his day and oh, well.
I agree with this. Most of his issue seems mental. A good illustration would be his reaction when he lost to Tsitsipas in Toronto. He displayed very poor sportsmanship as he was obviously gutted to have lost to someone he considers inferior to him. As if stepping in on the court as the higher seeded meant that he automatically expects to win.
 

Benben245

Professional
He's 6'6 by default he will be inconsistent. Secondly, his transition game is garbage; he should be practicing every day from no man's land and learn how to hit angles and difficult shots where has to get low 5 feet from the net
 

Notirouswithag

Professional
The only thing wrong in Z’s game is himself.

He has the solid all around game, bur still needs to work on strategizing.

Biggest thing of all is his mental game and lack of adapting mid game. Once he gets over that mental help than he should be seeing deeper runs in grand slams. Smaller masters and 1,000/500 tournaments he fine but he chokes on a bigger worldwide stage and implodes within
 

ForumMember

Hall of Fame
Two main things:

1. Weak Forehand - For some one of the height of 6'6", Forehand has to be killer one. You look at any top player of that height., and you see how big a weapon FH should be.

2. Defensive Mindset - He doesn't go for winners. Most of the times, he is pushing balls in rallies. Most of the Forehand shots he hits with lot of margins. Never goes for outright winner from FH wing.

I think his Serve is ok and Backhand is killer.Nobody hits back hand DTL as good as him nowadays.
 

NuBas

Legend
The only thing wrong in Z’s game is himself.

He has the solid all around game, bur still needs to work on strategizing.

Biggest thing of all is his mental game and lack of adapting mid game. Once he gets over that mental help than he should be seeing deeper runs in grand slams. Smaller masters and 1,000/500 tournaments he fine but he chokes on a bigger worldwide stage and implodes within
Agreed and I think he does have a weapon and its his backhand. I think expectations, weak net game as mentioned, and that mental barrier all comes into play. Roger said his mind set totally changed after winning first grand slam so might be same for Sascha. The guy is only 21, did we already forget? He has done much more than other NextGens. I predict a ton of TTW users will eat their words in the near future.

Also I think his concentration is off sometimes. You don't see Roger looking to his box every single point which I see with some players and Sascha. That tells me he isn't really focused like he should be.
 
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