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✅ Alexander Zverev says stomach bug didn’t help his cause as he crashes out of Wimbledon

November 20, 2019


Alexander Zverev had said that as far as he was concerned the World Cup was over until 2022 due to Germany’s group-stage exit  Now his Wimbledon is over until 2019 after his shock third-round defeat against the Latvian qualifier Ernests Gulbis – another seed collapsing out of the Championships on Court No 1 after Simona Halep’s demise in the previous match The 21-year-old Zverev, who was born in Hamburg to Russian parents, has been slated as the young pretender of the men’s game and as well as his father, also Alexander, acting as coach, he has recruited Andy Murray’s former fitness trainer Jez Green to help develop his stamina – which he had proved, having won five consecutive five-setters en route to the Roland Garros quarter-finals last month, his best result at a major tournament However, this stamina was lacking and he seemed to tire and lose focus from the midpoint of the fourth set while he was up two sets to one The explanation came as being a stomach bug he had picked up but had played through to beat Taylor Fritz in the second round  “I was tired from probably having a stomach bug, not eating for over 24 hours, that probably had something to do with it,” said Zverev who looked pale and wane, speaking after the match “It felt like somebody just unplugged me in the middle of the fourth set and there was no going back there for me.”Despite a string of wins on the ATP tour, including in Madrid and Munich this year, his form at the French Open and having reached the fourth round of Wimbledon last year, this latest defeat would seem to be a major setback Yet the player is taking it in his stride. “This is sports, you can’t really plan things. Things happen. I thought after I won the third set, I’m going to get out with a win, I thought that honestly “I actually started off well. I had break points in the beginning of the fourth. Unfortunately that’s it for me for this year But I’ll be back.”Describing Gulbis as a 29-year-old ranked 138 in the world, could conjure the image of a journeyman scraping by However, as the son of a Latvian oligarch, money has never been a motivating factor for one of the tour’s more eccentric characters, and he has the big-match experience having made the French Open semi-finals in 2014  He hit the headlines on Tuesday when he was fined £1,500 for “snapping” at a ball boy and for shouting at fans to “shut up” when he beat 19-year-old Briton Jay Clarke In bombarding Zverev with drop shots, an aspect of the game the German struggles with, particularly as his backhand slice would be a weakness, Gulbis demonstrated a calm and steely determination in stark contrast to his unpredictable demeanour for which he is perhaps best known It was in fact the young German who received an “obscenity warning” in the third set followed by an exchange with umpire that followed him smacking his racket against the net in frustration Zverev started brightly, playing to his big serve, but Gulbis began to expose how the German is still not the complete player, particularly on his backhand slice The went to a tie-break with Zverev losing his nerve and Gulbis won it convincingly 7-2.Over the years Gulbis has repeatedly reinvented his forehand and Zverev took advantage of this in the second set, which was punctuated early on by a cry of “It’s coming home” upon news filtering through of England’s footballing win Despite Gulbis continuing to mix his variety of shots in an attempt to confuse Zverev, the German took the second set 6-4 Gulbis had a chance to serve for the third set but Zverev ground him down in a powerful rally. The Latvian looked shaken and Zverev snatched back the initiative to go 2-1 up Gulbis continued to play his tactical game in the fourth set, aiming delicate drop shots at Zverev which he could not cope with due to fatigue, and took it 6-3 to level the match  Gulbis continued his drop-shot tactics in the deciding set, causing Zverev to capitulate completely as he sealed a 6-0 whitewash  

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