Zverev says young guns have more pressure than Federer did

Alexander Zverev (Getty Images)
Alexander Zverev (Getty Images)

Melbourne - Alexander Zverev said on Thursday the pressures of social media made it harder for the new generation of players compared to when the likes of Roger Federer were trying to break through.

The German is among a clutch of players in their early twenties who are seen as the new guard to take over from Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

But the 22-year-old said the constant news cycle and social media made it tough to keep focus and ignore negativity.

"I think it's different than it was 20 years ago," said the Australian Open seventh seed after he beat 98th-ranked Egor Gerasimov in three tough sets in the second round.

"I think with the social media, I think with the mobile phones that we have, the pressure the media puts on us, other people put on us, we are more aware of it than 20 years ago.

"To read what's going on, to read the press, you (used to) have to buy a newspaper, go on the laptop and search for it.

"Now you open up Instagram, there's five million people that have an opinion about you all of a sudden.

"It's maybe more difficult for us now.

"On the other hand, with the guys like Novak, Rafa, and Roger, simply they're better than us because they're winning," he added.

Zverev said he was trying to stay in a tennis bubble and cut out checking social media during Grand Slams, but admitted it was easier said than done and negative opinion hurt.

"Even though when people say they don't care, they still read it. In the back of their mind, they're aware of it," he said.

"So I think that is a massive difference."

Despite the perceived extra pressure, Zverev is confident it is only a matter of time before one of the up-and-coming players takes the next step and wins a Major tournament.

"Even though maybe some of us don't want to admit it because we have all kind of personal relationships that we have with each other, but once one of us wins it, it's going to be good for the others, as well," he said.

Zverev will next play Fernando Verdasco or Nikoloz Basilashvili as he attempts to match his best Australian Open result after reaching the round of 16 last year.

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