Alexander Zverev, fresh from the high of back-to-back tournament wins at Cologne, recently spoke about who he looks up to in the tennis circuit and outside of it.
It is a known fact that Zverev loves to indulge in other sports when not occupied with tennis. He feels role models might be the wrong term to use, but he certainly has people that he has looked up to for inspiration while growing up.
“Role models may be the wrong word, as I’ve always tried to go my own way. But as a child, I always looked up to Roger Federer. He was my idol and embodied everything I wanted to be,” Zverev said. This doesn’t come as a surprise since the German is a Federer fan.
Zverev, a massive Miami Heat fan, couldn’t keep the NBA and basketball out of the mix either. “I also like Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade. They were basketball icons growing up. They were amazing and just unstoppable,” said the 23-year-old.
Zverev seems to have taken some inspiration from these icons and has been quite “unstoppable” himself, given his run at the Bett1Hulks Indoors and then at the Bett1Hulks Championship.
Alexander Zverev on having Federer as an idol to eventually becoming friends with him
Not many are lucky enough to know and be friends with people they call their idols, but Zverev certainly is. The German recalled meeting Federer first at a tournament in Hamburg. He had requested him for an autograph and a photo together, and that is how their friendship started.
Cut to now and Zverev has been Federer’s teammate in Laver Cup for three years. He just considers himself lucky to be able to watch him from close quarters and learn from him.
It was also out of friendship and respect that Zverev was part of Federer’s Exhibition Tour of North and South America, where the duo was scheduled to play in five cities over seven days.
While his achievement at Cologne will take some time to sink in, Alexander Zverev still has a lot to play for this year. He is up next at the Rolex Paris Masters 2020 and then at the 2020 Nitto ATP Finals in London.