Alexander Zverev is on course to make his competitive comeback in January with his brother Mischa confirming he is “feeling good” after his latest training sessions.
The German has been sidelined since June after he tore ankle ligaments when his foot got caught in the ground after slipping during his French Open semi-final clash against Rafael Nadal.
After initially eyeing a return for his country at the Davis Cup Finals group stage in September, he was forced to push back his comeback as he was diagnosed with a bone edema on his right foot.
He was also forced to pull out of the Paris Masters and this month’s Davis Cup Finals playoffs in Malaga and has slumped outside the top 10 in the ATP Rankings for the first time since 2017. He is likely to drop further down the rankings as he will not defend his ATP Finals title next week.
However, there has been a positive update with regards to his fitness ahead of the 2023 season.
“We were able to train last week,” Mischa told Eurosport.
“On Monday we were even able to play a little longer. So far he’s pain-free and feels good.”
Zverev is set to return to action in December as he has signed up for several exhibition events – including the Diriyah Tennis Cup in Saudi Arabia and the inaugural World Tennis League in Dubai.
Former world No 25 Mischa says his brother wants to use the matches to get match fit.
“Since the great match against Nadal – unfortunately with a bitter end – he hasn’t been able to play any games. That’s why we signed up for a couple of exhibition tournaments,” he said.
He added: “Training sets at home without an audience are just something different. So you have to be on the pitch, against a top player, with ball boys and referees to feel the adrenaline again. What do you do when the score is 30-30? How do you behave on the second serve? You just have to test that again. Just like your foot.”
Zverev is likely to make his competitive return at the inaugural United Cup – joint ATP-WTA event – in Australia before an assault on the Australian Open.
“In Australia he wants to start at the United Cup. Of course he doesn’t miss that,” Mischa said.
“Men and women will play together from now on. And we [Germany] have a fantastic team, especially with the girls Jule Niemeier and Tatjana Maria. It will definitely be a nice event.”
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