Alexander Zverev had the best season of his career in 2021 and the world number three said Friday he plans to do even better in the coming year, starting at the ATP Cup.
The German ace captured his second ATP Finals title in November, producing a brilliant performance to defeat world number two Daniil Medvedev, adding to the Olympic gold medal he won in Tokyo.
That trophy in Turin was his sixth of the year and he is keen to carry the momentum forward, starting with a tough opening clash of 2022 on Sunday against Britain’s 12th ranked Cameron Norrie at the ATP Cup in Sydney.
“It is a great challenge. I will know exactly where I am at after the first few matches,” he said ahead of the 16-team event, which starts on Saturday.
Zverev also won the ATP Finals title in 2018, only to have a poor 2019.
But he said he had grown as a player and person since then and expects it to be a springboard for an even better season this time around.
“I was a lot younger. I was 21 years old going into the 2019 season. It was my first very big title at the Nitto ATP Finals in 2018,” said Zverev.
“I do feel I’m a little bit of a different player but also I’m a different person, I think. I’ve had a lot more experience on the court, I had a lot more experience outside the court.
“I know how to handle maybe the media a little bit better. I know how to handle pressure maybe a tiny bit better, as well.”
Zverev said the fact that he continued his red-hot Olympic form into the rest of the year boded well for 2022 and that the momentum would help propel him to “have the best season of my career”.
“It’s going to be an exciting year for tennis, because I think the first six months of this (2021) season, Novak (Djokovic) has dominated tennis,” he said.
“He’s won all three Grand Slams, won every big singles title there is.
“But in the last six months of the season, I think the titles were a bit more split. They were split between Novak, Daniil, and myself.”
Germany lost to Medvedev’s Russia in the last four at the ATP Cup in 2021 and Zverev is confident of going at least one better this time alongside team-mates Jan-Lennard Struff, Yannick Hanfmann, Kevin Krawietz, and Tim Puetz.
Their clash with Norrie’s Britain is a re-match of their Davis Cup semi-final in early December, where Krawietz and Puetz won a crucial doubles rubber to send Germany through.
Salah overtakes Ronaldo as Premier League’s highest-paid player with new deal
Mohamed Salah’s new £400,000-per-week salary at Liverpool has made him the top earner in the Premier League, according to Daily Mail.
The Egyptian has ended speculation about his future, by putting pen to paper on a bumper deal until 2025.
Salah is now ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) and Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), who are on reported salaries of £385,000-per-week.
City’s new striker, Erling Haaland, is close behind on £375,000-per-week, the same wage as United goalkeeper David de Gea.
Salah, however, ranks as the fourth highest-paid footballer in the world.
The 30-year-old’s wages is dwarfed by those ahead of him, all of whom play for Paris Saint-Germain.
Neymar comes in at third-place with £606,000-per-week.
Lionel Messi took a pay cut when he joined PSG from Barcelona last summer, but he’s still on a stunning salary of £960,000-per-week.
Messi was the biggest earner in the world until a few weeks ago, when he was overtaken by team-mate Kylian Mbappe, who signed a new three-year contract with the Ligue 1 side reported to be worth £1million-per-week.
PSG to offload Messi
Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly planning to offload forward Lionel Messi this summer, according to Spanish journalist Pedro Morata via PSG Talk.
Messi joined PSG last summer from his boyhood club, Barcelona.
The Argentine captain failed to live up to expectations, scoring just 11 goals from 34 games across competitions for PSG.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, though, has shown signs of a revival over the summer.
Messi was outstanding for La Albiceleste in the last few games, scoring goals for fun and winning the Finalissima.
However, it appears PSG have run out of patience with Messi.
PSG’s new sporting director Luis Campos is planning a squad revamp and is also ready to axe Messi.
EPL: Arsenal agree deal with 25-year-old midfielder
Arsenal have agreed on personal terms with 25-year-old Leicester City midfielder, Youri Tielemans.
This claim was made by respected Journalist Ben Jacobs.
According to Jacobs, Arsenal have ‘put in a heck lot of work’ to secure a deal for the Belgium international.
Speaking to GiveMeSport, Ben Jacobs was quoted as saying: “Arsenal have put in a heck of a lot of work into Tielemans.
“They have agreed personal terms, and their talks with Tielemans date back for the best part of a year. But for whatever reason, Arsenal have decided not to swoop just yet and actually table a bid with Leicester City.
“And if they do so, and agree a fee at the lowest end £25 million, at the highest end £32 million, they will get Youri Tielemans.”
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