An ill Alexander Zverev, who had been knocked out of the 2020 French Open by Jannik Sinner, later admitted he had played despite flu-like symptoms but refused to answer questions from a journalist in a post-match conference.
In a bizarre turn of events, the sixth seeded German was sent packing by Italy’s unseeded but talented Sinner in a four-setter in their fourth round match at Roland-Garros before revealing he had not been well since his previous round win.
And amidst all this, Zverev also hit back at a journalist, refusing to take questions from him for allegedly writing critical articles about the German.
Zverev was broken once in the first set and twice in the second to go a couple of sets down. He showed signs of a fightback with an early break in the third only for Sinner to come back strongly and level things up at 3-3.
The world number seven then overcame two game-points on Sinner’s serve to win the game and served out the third set.
The resurrection didn’t last too long with Sinner grabbing the early initiative in the fourth set and while Zverev had a chance to break back in the very next game, he failed to do so, to lose 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
It was after the match things started to go berserk as Zverev revealed his symptoms had begun a couple of days ago, after his third round win over Marco Cecchinato. He went on to admit he shouldn’t have played in the match either.
“No it was nothing wrong but I am completely sick after the match with Cecchinato in the night. Yeah, what can I say? I’m completely sick. I can’t really breathe, as you can hear by my voice. I had fever, you know, as well.”
“I’m not in the best physical state, I would say. I think that had a little bit of an effect on the match today.”
“I warmed up today; I shouldn’t have played.”
Later, when a journalist asked Zverev if he had been tested for coronavirus, Zverev refused to answer the question explaining he had an issue with the person asking the question.
According to a report in Reuters, the French Tennis Federation had tested Zverev for the virus on September 29 and the German had tested negative for it. However, Zverev hadn’t informed the tennis authorities before the match about his condition and the fact he had been suffering a 100.4 degree celcius temperature coming into this fourth round encounter.
Sinner will now take on Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinal on Tuesday.