HomeAustraliaAustralian Open 2022 LIVE updates: Alexander Zverev defeats John Millman; Naomi Osaka,...

Australian Open 2022 LIVE updates: Alexander Zverev defeats John Millman; Naomi Osaka, Ash Barty, Rafael Nadal through to third round

Dylan Alcott interviewed Alexander Zverev following his win over John Millman.

DA: Zverev, mate, it was impressive to watch. You’re hitting the ball massively huge. How do you feel after that one?

AZ: I feel good. I won. It was really… I think amazing. Amazing atmosphere. Hopefully it gets louder for the next few matches.

I was going to ask you about that. You’re playing an Aussie in Australia. Pretty much everyone wants you to lose. Alright. So, how do you… How do you prepare for a match like that knowing the crowd?

I’m prepared that everybody will hate. So it’s… It’s quite accurate. I have said that in the past two years since COVID started, I think sports need the atmosphere. Sports need the people. It doesn’t matter whether you are for me or against me, I enjoy the [atmosphere], the noise, I enjoy being on court in front of all you guys. I think sports… Spectators bring the emotion. Sports without spectators is like sport without emotion. So, I think it’s incredible that we’re going back to normal. It is incredible playing in front of everybody.

Awesome, mate. Back to the match for a bit. John Millman makes it tough for anybody he plays. One thing I noticed about your game, you hit the ball through the court so well. Your forehand is 5kmh quicker on average compared to last year. Doesn’t sound like much. But for the opposition that’s a fair bit. Is that something you have worked on? Or just feeling it tonight?

My tactic today was to hit the ball as slow as possible.

Mate! I’m worried for your next round then. That will be dangerous.

That is my mindset going into the match. If you are telling me I am hitting the ball harder, I’m happy with that. Hopefully I can get it even harder next match and even harder the next… And against Rafa maybe I will hit it even harder!

We will see what happens. You had an incredible end of last year, in particular, winning the goal at the Tokyo Olympic Games. First, welcome to the gold medal club!

The only difference is you have about four.

I do, that’s right. You have three to go, but you’ll get there.

I won’t play for that long.

What did it mean for you to win? I know it was massive back home for you in Germany?

Yeah. There’s nothing you can agree with me on that… There’s nothing compared to the Olympics. I’m standing here on Centre Court at the Australian Open. I love you guys, but… A gold medal is… is something that I think every athlete dreams about. Doesn’t matter what sport. Doesn’t matter what background you are coming from. A gold medal is something special. There is nothing in the world that compares with it. Especially if you have four of them!

Yeah. I get asked this a lot. Where do you keep it?

Actually a good question because my brother took it for a media appearance once.

He’s gone! I saw him after the match. He was like, “Give me the towels.”

He likes the freebie. He didn’t give it back. I don’t know where it is. Hopefully he hasn’t sold it on eBay.

I have got five now – because I just bought it! Before we go, I have one problem with something that you are doing tonight. Alright. For the last 18 months, you have been wearing the tank top. Getting the guns out. Alright. Have you retired that? What happened? I was a big fan.

I mean, I have been told my arms are so strong that it’s too intimidating for the opponents. But it’s definitely not retired. It will come out. Maybe for the French Open.

Mate, I like it. Bit of advice – skip leg day. Overrated! Please give it up for Alexander Zverev!

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