Zverev confident he could 'destroy' Murray's rhythm

By Tom Webber 22 January 2017 101
Zverev confident he could 'destroy' Murray's rhythm

Mischa Zverev had no doubt his plan to "destroy" the rhythm of Andy Murray would succeed in their Australian Open fourth-round encounter.

Zverev was fully committed to a serve-and-volley style that world number one Murray was unable to find a response to, the German winning 7-5 5-7 6-2 6-4.

The 29-year-old – who dropped out of the top 1,000 in March 2015 following a series of injuries – is enjoying his best run at a grand slam, reaching his first quarter-final.

Zverev was confident in his ability to dismantle Murray but admitted he had no back-up plan if his initial tactics failed to work.

"It was definitely the best match of my life, not only because it was a best-of-five set match, it was at a slam. It was just incredible," said Zverev.

"I believed in myself. I believed in my game. I believed that playing serve and volley against him and slicing a lot, trying to destroy his rhythm was going to work, which it did in the end.

"I felt like I could hang in there with him, you know, sometimes rally and come in quickly. I feel like everything just worked out well.

"I knew there was no 'Plan B' really. Like, I can't stay on the baseline, a couple feet behind the baseline, try to out-rally him. He's very strong physically. He has a good baseline game.

"I knew I had to come in. That was my only chance to win. So, yeah, honestly there was no 'Plan B' for me, so that's all I could do.

"I knew I could get to him with my game. I knew I could slice a lot, come in, try to annoy him, which worked."

Amid the rising pressure on Rod Laver Arena, Zverev looked to his parents in a bid to help maintain his composure.

He said: "You try to distract yourself by doing the right thing on the court. I kept looking at my box. My mom was always smiling. That helps. My dad's focused. Everybody else was just chilling.

"I feel like there's a good atmosphere going on, which keeps me entertained and focused on the court, and then tried to stay positive, which worked out."

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Tom Webber