German young gun Alexander Zverev plans on correcting his CV and finally confirming his grand slam bona fides with a deep Australian Open run.
Zverev’s five tour titles in 2017 was third only to Roger Federer (7) and Rafael Nadal (6) and catapulted the 20-year-old to world No.4, providing some welcome comfort in the Open draw.
Having yet to reach a grand slam quarter-final in 10 attempts – and only once venturing beyond the third round last year – Zverev admits he can do without striking a heavyweight early.
“Improving my grand slam results from last year was definitely my goal for this year,” he said ahead of Monday’s start to the Melbourne Park major.
“I had a great year on tour but the grand slams have been a little bit shaky for me still.
“So hopefully I can improve that.”
While his ability to handle the grand slam pressure cooker has come into question, the gifted German is not overly concerned.
“I played great players in the last year. I think I’ve had one bad match last year at the grand slams. That was at the US Open,” he said.
“All the other matches were a little bit better. I lost to Nadal in five sets in the Australian Open. I lost to (former finalist Milos) Raonic in five sets at Wimbledon.
“So those players can all play. I’ve just got to get through those matches and we’ll see how far I can go.”
He hopes having another season under his belt will help.
“Those guys have been on tour for much longer than me so I think that has something to do with it,” Zverev said.
“Just generally getting better, just generally getting fitter, is something which young players have to do and which I’m trying to do as well.
“You can’t really name one thing or one reason why I haven’t gone that far yet.
“But hopefully I can improve that this year.”