Alexander Zverev admits his tennis might not be at the usual level, but he is glad to be back competing after six months away from the sport.
The world number twelve tore three ligaments in his right ankle during his Roland Garros semi-final match against Rafael Nadal in June and had to be stretchered off court. He then suffered a bone edema injury in September setting him back further.
Speaking ahead of the inaugural United Cup, a team event held over three cities in Australia, the 25-year-old said how happy he was to be back.
“Finally being back on court, being back in a competitive official tournament as well [is great],” Zverev said.
“It's been a long time for me unfortunately but I'm looking forward to Australia. I've always enjoyed being here, I've always enjoyed coming back here and as I said, just playing tennis again, just being out competing and I've always enjoyed team events.
“Of course, I'm coming back from injury. I think I'm not going to be playing my absolute best tennis this week but I'm looking forward to being back on the court and I think the team atmosphere will help.”
Zverev’s return comes in the form of a new team event featuring 18 countries with both male and female players from each country and he believes this mixed event is good for tennis.
“I think this is a very, very special one,” Zverev said.
“I think it's very unique – not only in tennis but I think in all different kinds of sport, where men and women compete together. I hope it's going to be a very positive week for all of us and I think that it's innovative and I think it's very important for the sports world.”
Zverev will be joined in Team Germany by fellow players Oscar Otte, Daniel Altmaier and Fabian Fallert and WTA players Jule Niemeier, Laura Siegemund, Anna-Lena Friedsam and Julia Lohoff.
“I think the dynamic is great. We all get along nicely,” Zverev said. “We all [are] kind of getting to know each other a little bit still but we're trying to spend time outside the court together so the dynamic and the atmosphere is better on the court.
“I think we have very, very strong women with Jule Niemeier, who is a young up-and-coming player. We've got a very good doubles mixed team possibly with Laura [Siegemund] and myself and the guys I think are quite strong.”
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