The A-Z of Alexander Zverev

 - Kate Battersby

C is for comprehensive as we compile the lowdown on the RG quarter-finalist.

Alexander Zverev - Roland-Garros 2019 - huitième de finale©Philippe Montigny / FFT

From Alexander to Zverev and everything in between... Here's the alphabetical gen on Germany's No.5 seed.

Alexander’s aces: Zverev had delivered a tournament-leading 61 by the completion of the fourth round at RG19.

Brother: Mischa, a quarter-finalist at Australian Open 2017, is 10 years his sibling’s senior. When Alexander won the singles and then the doubles with Mischa in Montpellier 2017, they were the first to execute a title sweep since Andy and Jamie Murray in Tokyo 2011.

Coach: a former professional player, Zverev’s father Alexander reached a career high of No.175. He has coached his both sons since their early childhood.

Dwayne Wade: Zverev is a major basketball fan, whose favourite all-time NBA player is the just-retired Miami Heat shooting guard.

English: one of the three languages he speaks fluently, along with Russian and, of course, German.

Five-setters: out of Zverev’s last nine matches on the Paris clay, five have gone into a deciding set. As Boris Becker told Eurosport: “Zverev didn’t get the memo – tennis can be a three-set game.”

Geneva: the clay-court title he won the day before Roland-Garros 2019 got underway. Before that he was 5-6 on clay this year.

Hamburg: city of his birth, on 20 April 1997.

Ivan Lendl: the former world No.1 and eight-time Grand Slam title winner is part of Zverev’s coaching team.

Jez Green: his fitness trainer, who previously worked with Andy Murray.

Kokkinakis: when a Twitter poll asked in April if the German’s poor form meant it was “time to worry”, Australian pro Thanasi Kokkinakis replied: “Multiple masters at [age] 22… I think he will be ok.”

Lovik: Zverev’s grey poodle. Described by Zverev as “the perfect travel dog”, Lovik goes everywhere with Zverev in his own Louis Vuitton dog carrier. With his own Facebook page and Instagram account, he has been known to get his own tournament pass.

Marcelo Melo: Zverev’s best mate on tour is the 35-year-old Brazilian doubles specialist. They even holidayed together in the Maldives at the end of last year. Melo won Roland-Garros 2015 with Ivan Dodig and Wimbledon 2017 with his current partner Lukasz Kubot. Seeded No.1 here, they were beaten in the third round by Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin.

Novak Djokovic: the Serb first met the German at a junior tournament where Mischa Zverev was playing, when Alexander was four. “I can’t remember it. Novak and Rafa [Nadal] played mini-tennis with me.”

Obstinate: Mischa recalls that "as a kid, [Alexander] would not understand or accept that he was losing when we played each other. He would never want to leave the court unless he won the match.”

Pastimes: in his down time, Zverev plays golf and is a wizard at FIFA 18.

Quarter-finals: the deepest he’s gone at any Grand Slam. Both of his appearances in the last eight have come at Roland-Garros - last year and this.

Roger Federer: Zverev’s childhood idol. There is a photograph of their first meeting when Zverev was five. “I got his autograph and he said, ‘Well, maybe if you work hard, one day we might play against each other somewhere’.” Their career head-to-head now stands at 3-3.

Alexander Zverev Dusan Lajovic Roland-Garros 2019©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT

Sascha: his nickname.

Tall: he’s 6'6", or 198cm in metric terms.

Unusual: The Economist magazine described Zverev as a “gangling giant” resembling “one of the distended figures in an El Greco painting”.

Vogue magazine has featured him twice, including in 2017 as part of their prestigious September issue.

Washington DC: one of the 11 ATP titles he has won, along with St. Petersburg, Montpellier, Munich (twice), Rome, Montreal, Madrid, the ATP Finals and Geneva. He defended his Washington DC title in 2018.

X-Factor: all the very best players need this 'ingredient' to climb the highest peaks.

Youngest: when he defeated Novak Djokovic at the 2018 ATP Finals, Zverev was the youngest year-end champion since the Serbian himself in 2008. Zverev reached his career-high ranking of No.3 last November, becoming the youngest top-three player since Djokovic in 2007. He was also the youngest player in the 2018 year-end Top 10, the 2017 top 20, the 2016 top 50, the 2015 top 100 and the 2014 top 200.

Zverev: of course.