Australian Open: This is how Zverev prepares for the round of 16

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Alexander Zverev is just one step away from the big duel with Rafael Nadal. But before that he should be challenged for the first time in Melbourne on Sunday.

With Stephen Hawking into completely different spheres – whenever Alexander Zverev wants to hide the pressure of the title hunt in Melbourne for a few moments, he picks up his book and dives into the world of the astrophysicist. “It’s just a good way to switch off. I’ve always been very interested in space,” said the top tennis player about his passion, which he also gives time to during the Australian Open.

“I am someone who is very interested in where we came from, what we come from,” said Zverev, who made himself comfortable in his chic hotel room to relax and stretched out his legs, which should carry him to the next victory on Sunday . Then (not before 5:00 a.m. CET/Eurosport) the 24-year-old Olympic champion will face his first real challenge on the Yarra River against Canadian Denis Shapovalov.

“He’s a player with a higher level,” said Zverev before the round of 16 game: “I’ll try to get my rhythm so that I can be successful.” Should this succeed, a duel with 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal could follow. “Of course I saw the draw. Rafa plays extremely good tennis,” said Zverev, who again had the chance to polish his record against top 10 players in majors – it is still 0:11.

But before that, it is important to keep Shapovalov in check. “I got through the first week without losing a set. That’s always very positive, I’m still full of energy,” said Zverev, who goes into the match as a favorite. But he will need his full concentration in the clash with the 22-year-old left-hander, who solved the tricky task against US service giant Reilly Opelka in four sets in the third round.

On Saturday, Zverev completed one more unit on training ground 18 in Melbourne, which was getting hotter and hotter, before he let himself be kneaded and wanted to end the evening playing cards with his brother Mischa. That’s also a good way for Zverev to switch off and not constantly deal with the chance of his first Grand Slam title.

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