Zverev Confirms Bruguera as Coach

By Richard Pagliaro | Sunday, May 1, 2022

Armed with a Spanish ally, Alexander Zverev aims to recapture Madrid magic.

World No. 3 Zverev confirmed two-time Roland Garros champion Sergi Bruguera will continue as his coach. The pair initially began working together on a trial basis in Miami in March.

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The second-seeded Zverev launches his Madrid title defense this week against either Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas or 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic hoping Bruguera will be a stabilizing long-term presence in his coaching box.

“He’s my coach,” Zverev told the media in Madrid. “I mean, you can never put a timing on this. I hope for a very long time.

“Obviously I have been without a coach, you know, like a real coach for six, seven months now, since my father had some other things that he had to deal with.

“At the end of the day, I thought that it’s not going to be such a long time. I thought my father would be back maybe a little bit sooner, but it is what it is. There is sometimes more important things than tennis, and I need a coach. I need guidance. I need somebody who can look out for what is going on on the tennis court. I think Serg is one of the best guys for this.”

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It’s been a season of some struggle and controversy for Zverev, who was booted out of Acapulco for attacking the umpire’s chair with his racquet. Zverev was swept by Denis Shapovalov at the Australian Open, lost the Montpellier final to Alexander Bublik and scored three total wins in the Sunshine Double.

Bruguera is the third Spanish coach Zverev has worked with following former No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero, who coaches Carlos Alcaraz, and David Ferrer, who coached the German to the 2020 US Open final.

Ferrer was the conduit connecting Zverev to Bruguera after the 25-year-old German approached Ferrer about reprising their partnership.

“Obviously I talked to David Ferrer again, because for me he’s a great guy,” Zverev said. “He said that at the moment he has a lot of other things to do, and he’s the one that suggested Sergi Bruguera.

“We tried in Miami and it worked out very well. We get along extremely well on court. Hopefully it will be a successful relationship.”

Zverev may feel the stress of his title defense in Madrid coming off a straight-sets loss to 19-year-old Holger Rune in Munich last week. Rune went on to win his maiden ATP title, while Zverev is eager to brush off the defeat and take aim at his first title of 2022.

“I played a very bad match. I didn’t die or I didn’t get injured or something like this,” Zverev said. “It was just a very bad match in Munich. I’m happy to be here. This is obviously one of my favorite places in the world to play tennis. So we will see how this week goes but I’m excited, I’m motivated. Yeah, we will see how it goes.”

Photo credit: Mateo Vilalba/Mutua Madrid Open