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26 May, 2022 13:32

Tennis ace Zverev admits to mental health battle

Alexander Zverev confessed to "struggling a lot this year"
Tennis ace Zverev admits to mental health battle

Alexander Zverev has opened up on his mental health struggles but has insisted that they are not solely down to social media.

The German-born world number three with Russian parents has endured a tough time on and off the tennis court after his ex-girlfriend accused him of domestic violence and he was thrown out of the Mexican Open and fined for hitting the umpire's chair with his racket. 

Speaking at the ongoing French Open, after beating Sebastian Baez in the second round, Zverev commented that "you have to learn not to look at it" with regards to the comments section on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. 

"But for me, my mental health does not depend on social media," he also stressed.

"My mental health depends on other problems I have, to be honest. I never talk about it. I think some players talk about it more often, and more [openly]. I don’t like to do that, but I was struggling a lot this year," Zverev confessed.

"So, yeah, not because of social media. I was struggling a lot because of other things, so I was not happy.

"I think I was quite depressed at times, as well. So, yeah. It’s all a big part. I think the pressure we are under, we are constantly in a spotlight," Zverev offered.

Amid criticism from the older generation, however, Zverev highlighted that things are quite different in the modern age for players now due to the abuse they can receive from social media, even though it doesn't provide the full extent of his personal issues.

"I think players from 20, 30 years ago don’t understand because now every single little thing you do, there is a camera there or someone that can comment on it or there is someone that will write about it," Zverev said.

"Thirty years ago it wasn’t like that. These days I think with social media and a lot of other platforms, there is a lot more involvement and there is a lot more hatred going on.

"That’s just the world we live in right now. It’s sad to see. But that’s the reality, because I think social media gives everybody a platform to say whatever they want, good or bad," Zverev concluded.

With an eye on Russia's Daniil Medvedev and Novak Djokovic occupying the number two and one ranking spots respectively, Zverev continues his Roland Garros campaign by facing Brandon Nakashima in the third round on Friday after reaching the semi-finals last year where he was beaten by Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Like Medvedev and Djokovic, Zverev has been critical of Wimbledon's ban on Russian players which he called "crazy".