Alexander Zverev ‘missing effort’ in shock Australian Open loss, says Boris Becker

Boris Becker says a fourth round exit for Alexander Zverev at the Australian Open is ‘not enough’ for a player of his quality.

Big things have been expected of Zverev ever since his breakthrough as a teenager, but at the age of 24 now he is still to win a major.

He will have to wait a little longer now after losing in straight sets to Denis Shapovalov in Melbourne, and Becker has questioned Zverev’s effort and aggression levels.

“Very disappointing,” admitted Becker. “Sascha never found his game, he didn’t develop dynamism or aggression.

“Right from the start you had the feeling that Shapovalov was always a step ahead. The Canadian was livelier. I haven’t seen Zverev that passive for a very long time.

“You can lose and play badly, but you still have to make an effort and leave your soul on the pitch. We missed that today.”

Alexander Zverev could have been the world number one had he won the title, and many expected that to happen, but Becker says he is not quite sure what went wrong for his compatriot.

“Sascha’s dream of being number one in the world after Australian Open now is over. He has to think about what happened there. He was brimming with confidence before but something has happened from Australia these past few weeks.”

“His big strength is serve, but today it was just three aces with eight double faults. He waited too long on the baseline for that and only played the ball back – hoping that the opponent would make a mistake.

“But Shapovalov is too good for that. He never really put pressure on Shapovalov and pushed. The round of 16 is not enough for a top player like Zverev.”

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