Alexander Zverev has been told to focus on his tennis and not money after crashing out of the Australian Open. Third seed Zverev, 24, was favourite to set up a mouth-watering quarter final clash with Rafael Nadal – only to be routed 7-6 6-3 6-3 by Canadian Denis Shapovalov.
“I thought it was interesting when he was asked about sacrifices you have to make on tour,” Wilander, 57, said on Eurosport.
“I’ve never actually heard Rafael Nadal, or Roger Federer, or Novak Djokovic, mention money. And ‘Sascha’ [Zverev] actually mentioned, yeah, being away from home blah blah blah – but ‘it’s a good job, I’m going to make a bunch of money.’ And I was like oh, that is interesting.
“Ranking points, championships, I get it, so I hope Sascha gets it together so that he actually just doesn’t want to be number one, but actually needs deep in his heart to be the best player that he can be.”
Wilander himself knows what it takes to win a Grand Slam, having won seven major titles between 1982 and 1988.
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And he added that Zverev has to understand that success won’t “just come to come him.”
Shapovalov, 22, reached the last four at Wimbledon last year and has impressed in Melbourne, and Nadal said he isn’t surprised to be facing his fellow left-hander in the last eight.
“Everybody knows, as I said before, how good is Denis when he’s playing well. So of course you didn’t expect a three-sets victory, but that what happened,” Nadal told reporters.
“I didn’t see the match, of course, but that said, of course, Denis played a great game. I don’t know if Sascha played well or not, but even considering Sascha was not playing fantastic today, to win in straight sets against Sascha is because he played a fantastic match, no?
“Surprise? Very little. Honestly, no, it was not a clear match [to predict] at all.”
Nadal was speaking after his own fourth-round victory, comind 21st g through a marathon first-set tie-break before beating Adrian Mannarino 7-6(14) 6-2 6-2.
The Spaniard, who won this event in 2009, is chasing an unprecedented 21st Grand Slam title down under, which would nudge him ahead of rivals Djokovic and Federer.