Alexander Zverev admitted that he was putting too much pressure on himself at the Grand Slams after reaching the first semifinal at the French Open on Tuesday.
The sixth seed defeated Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.
“The Grand Slams are the tournaments that we want to win the most. Before maybe the past few years, I was putting too much pressure on myself,” Zverev said.
“Before [Daniil] Medvedev and [Stefanos] Tsitsipas arrived, I was seen as this guy who was going to all of a sudden take over the tennis world. I was putting pressure on myself as well.
“I was not very patient with myself, which I feel like now maybe I learned how to deal with the situation a little bit better. I’m maybe a little bit calmer at the tournaments. But the end goal hasn’t changed.”
It was not that Zverev was not playing well overall. He lifted three Masters 1000 trophies before reaching his first major quarterfinal.
“For a long period of time I was winning [ATP Masters 1000s], the [ATP] Finals, but I couldn’t get quite deep in Grand Slams. I was putting bricks on myself,” Zverev said.
“In a way I was not performing to the level that I was in other tournaments. I was not playing the same level. I was very impatient with myself.”
Since breaking through to the last eight at Roland Garros in 2018, Zverev has made it at least to the quarter-finals in six of his 12 Grand Slam appearances, including this tournament.
Tsitsipas back in semis
Zverev will next face Stefanos Tsitsipas, who ended Daniil Medvedev’s run with a 6-3, 7-6(3), 7-5 win.
Your first #RolandGarros semi-final confirmed:
🇩🇪 Zverev v. Tsitsipas 🇬🇷 pic.twitter.com/9PFayTpE6a
— ATP Tour (@atptour) June 8, 2021
The clash between 22-year-old Tsitsipas and 24-year-old Zverev will be the youngest Grand Slam semifinal since 22-year-old Andy Murray defeated 21-year-old Marin Cilic at the Australian Open in 2010.
It is also the youngest Roland Garros semifinal since Rafael Nadal, 22, defeated Novak Djokovic, 21, here in 2008.
Tsitsipas leads their head-to-head record 5-2.