TV documentary about tennis star: Zverev reveals why his trust in women is “a little broken”.

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Germany’s tennis enigma opens its heart: in a new RTL documentary, Alexander Zverev is more accessible and private than ever. Girlfriend Sophia Thomalla also has her say in detail. She says, “He’s very, very emotionally private.”

He is Germany’s greatest tennis hope since the legends Boris Becker and Michael Stich – and yet Alexander Zverev does not seem to have fully arrived in the collective heart of the sporting nation. “The Unfinished” is the name of a 90-minute documentary in which the 25-year-old shows his approachable side. A title that not only points to the – still – missing Grand Slam victory. The film is a kind of friendship offer to a public that all too often experiences the Hamburger on Center Court as a mystery.

“I liked this Schlaks very much,” says the sports presenter Ulrike von der Groeben, who was interviewed for the streaming production by RTL. “Nevertheless, he never really let us get close to him.” That’s how her colleague Andreas von Thien sees it: “Why does he sometimes seem so arrogant, dogged and sometimes absent?” He often asked himself. The RTL presenter also speaks bluntly to Zverev’s darkest hour, the complete freak out at the 2022 tournament in Acapulco: “It was a complete loss of impulse control. He just went nuts there.”

Zverev in TV documentary: “I try to see my daughter at every opportunity”

“Those were the worst ten seconds of my life,” says Zverev himself in front of the camera. “It’s the biggest mistake I’ll ever make – probably.” Why did he hit the referee’s chair with his racket after a rather insignificant defeat in doubles? Mama Irina and brother Mischa suggest lack of sleep in combination with diabetes. Eurosport commentator and tennis expert Matthias Stach suspects more of a private background: “He became a dad. Then the lady of the house wasn’t exactly on the defensive with various headlines. Then came the allegation of domestic violence.”

“I was young, experienced a bit of the women’s world. You can get sucked in very quickly,” says Germany’s only Olympic champion in men’s singles so far, about the turbulence surrounding his private life. “As a young guy, it’s sometimes difficult to say no. You have to learn that.” His ex-girlfriend’s allegations of violence, which have been refuted several times in court, hit him hard. Zverev: “My trust in women has been broken a bit, that’s no secret.”

Zverev is no longer in a relationship with the mother of his daughter, who was born in 2021. That makes the situation “of course not easy”. The tennis star: “We try to have a relatively okay relationship with each other. I try to see my daughter at every opportunity.” Eurosport reporter Stach comments empathetically: “One can only wish that everyone involved can do it. He definitely wants to be a real dad.”

Zverev friend Sophia Thomalla: “We don’t have a simple life together”

Germany’s currently by far most successful ATP player has been in a relationship with Sophia Thomalla since August 2021. They got to know each other through friends, Zverev reveals in the RTL film. “It happened very quickly,” confirms Thomalla, who jokingly introduces herself as “partner and cook and household help”. The 33-year-old speaks of “two particularly blatant life models that meet”.

Her friend does an “incredible amount of sports” with great continuity. Her own life was “anything but continuous”. Thomalla reveals: “We enjoy the simplest things together. Because we don’t have a simple life together.” She also doesn’t need “a provider” by her side. “But with all the stress, I need someone I can call 24 hours a day and throw up.” Her partner always has an open ear for that. He is also “very, very emotionally private”. So very different from how large parts of the public perceive him.

Zverev, who is accompanied for long stretches of the film during rehab after his triple ligament tear at the French Open 2022, confirms: “I’m someone who lets few people get to him. But if I let someone in, then they belong to me. Then he’s like my family.” He only has two or three very close friends. “But I love her more than anything. It’s the same with my girlfriend. She’s part of the family.”

“ZVEREV – The Unfinished” will be available on RTL+ from Sunday, March 19.


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Peggy McColl

Mentor l NY Times Bestselling Author. Hi, I'm Peggy McColl, and I'm here to deliver a positive message to you!

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