Alexander Zverev crashed out of Rotterdam on Wednesday before revealing he has not even won a set in practice there this week.
Zverev has been showing signs that he is nearing another level with his tennis in recent months, reaching his first Grand Slam final in September.
He backed it up with a solid showing at the Australian Open, in which his serve looked particularly impressive.
However, he was comprehensively beaten 7-5, 6-3 in just 77 minutes by world number 43 Alexander Bublik, leaving him with just three career wins in five entries in Rotterdam.
“I haven’t won a single practice set in the five days I’ve been here, and I’ve been practising twice a day,” Zverev said after the match.
“In the past I haven’t done well here, in the past I haven’t done well and to be honest if the conditions don’t change a little bit, I don’t think in the future I’ll do too well here either.
“I’m not as upset about the match as I usually would be in another tournament because I just don’t feel well here.”
Bublik, for his part, couldn’t have been more relaxed about the win, describing it as ‘just another match.’
“Beating Sasha is great. The match was a bit of ups and downs for both of us. He didn’t play well today,” he said.
“I’m not that excited. It’s just another match. I did great. I was lucky enough to win it.”
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