Missed opportunity haunts Zverev after US Open exit

Alexander Zverev appeared to have the perfect draw for a deep run at the US Open, but now the 20-year-old German star can only ponder what might have been.

Fourth-seeded Zverev, the highest-ranked player in his half of the draw after Britain’s second-ranked Andy Murray withdrew Saturday, crashed out of the year’s final Grand Slam event Wednesday, falling to Croatia’s 61st-ranked Borna Coric 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7/1), 7-6 (7/4).

“It’s upsetting. Today was upsetting. The way I played was upsetting. The tournament so far is upsetting for me,” Zverev said.

“I was the highest-ranked player in the bottom half of the draw after Andy retired. Now I’m out of the draw.”

Zverev reached the New York hardcourts off his best Grand Slam result, a fourth-round run at Wimbledon, and his five ATP titles this year included back-to-back US Open tuneup crowns at Washington and Montreal, beating Roger Federer in the Canadian final.

“I know that I could have done some big things here. I know that I could have done something that I haven’t done before. But I won’t. It’s just as simple as that,” Zverev said.

“It’s upsetting because the draw is pretty open in the bottom part. I felt like I should have been the favourite there. I just played a very, very bad match, so it’s unfortunate.”

Zverev said the major expectations upon him with such a wide open field, aided by injuries to Murray and other top stars, did not impact his play.

“I’ve been dealing with expectations from a very young age,” Zverev said. “I don’t think about it. I just try to play every match the same way. Luckily for me most of the time this year I was winning.”

On the Grandstand court, nicknamed the “Graveyard of Champions” after past upsets, Zverev made 58 unforced errors with 22 aces and 43 winners.

“Physically I’m fine. I just played very, very bad in the second and third set,” Zverev said. “I should have won the third. I definitely should have won the fourth.

“My level wasn’t high today, so that’s more the problem.”


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