Alexander Zverev has added David Ferrer to his coaching team on a trial basis.
Zverev posted on his Instagram story: “Some good news: I am going through a trial period with David Ferrer on my team. Could not be more excited to get back to work. Can’t wait for the tour to be back.”
Ferrer retired after losing to Zverev in the second round of the Madrid Open last year.
Zverev said after that match: “He (Ferrer) is the most respectful guy for me on tour, and one of the most loved people on the tour as well. We’re going to miss him.”
These comments demonstrate Zverev’s respect for the Spaniard, but it is hard to predict whether the trial relationship will be a success – given it is Ferrer’s first coaching role.
Ferrer will, though, be able to draw on a wealth of playing experience, and offer his perspective from having competed at the highest level of the modern game.
The fact that the 38-year-old knows Zverev – and played against him eight times – may also be beneficial.
The former World No. 3 and French Open finalist was renowned for his work ethic, consistency and fighting spirit.
These qualities could translate well into coaching, and Ferrer may try to instill some of his discipline into Zverev.
Double-faulting has been the most persistent on-court issue plaguing Zverev over the last 18 months.
The German did, however, achieve his best Grand Slam result in January when he reached the Australian Open semi-finals.
Zverev’s Previous Coaching Partnerships
Zverev’s history of coaching arrangements with former top players adds to the uncertainty over whether the appointment will work.
Former World No. 1’s Juan Carlos Ferrero and Ivan Lendl have coached the German, but both relationships ended with disagreements.
Zverev won the 2017 Rogers Cup during his eight-month spell working with Ferrero, but the Spaniard has criticised Zverev for being unable to “perform quality training.”
Speaking on the 3IGUALES podcast in April, Ferrero added: “There were protests. Stops. Anger. Distractions.
“At the time, we collided due to his lack of punctuality and lack of respect for the team members, even though his father helped me a lot.”
Under Lendl’s tutelage, Zverev won the 2018 ATP Finals, but they split in July 2019 after 11 months.
Zverev suggested to reporters at the 2019 Hamburg European Open that the Czech lacked commitment to their partnership.
Lendl, though, told AFP that Zverev has “off-court issues that make it difficult to work in a way that is consistent with (his) philosophy.”