Alexander Zverev withdraws from US Open to focus on recovery

World No 2 had undergone surgery on his ankle after damaging ligaments at French Open

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World No 2 Alexander Zverev has withdrawn from the US Open as he continues his recovery following ankle surgery, tournament organisers said on Monday.

The 25-year-old underwent surgery in June after damaging ligaments in his right ankle during his French Open semi-final against Rafa Nadal.

"Alexander Zverev has withdrawn from the US Open. Get well soon, Alex!" organisers said in a brief statement.

The German earlier said that he expected to be back from injury to play for Germany in the Davis Cup in September but added there was a chance that he could return earlier and feature at Flushing Meadows, where he reached the final in 2020. The year's final Grand Slam gets under way next Monday.

His place in the main draw of the August 29-September 11 tournament will be taken by American Stefan Kozlov.

Zverev had played in 27 consecutive Grand Slams since his 2015 debut before the injury forced him to miss Wimbledon.

The German was on the verge of his first Grand Slam title two years ago in Flushing Meadows before Dominic Thiem rallied to beat him in a fifth-set tiebreaker. It was the first time a player had overcome a 2-0 deficit in the final of the event since Pancho Gonzalez against Ted Schroeder in 1949.

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Zverev won the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo last year and then returned to the US Open semi-finals, losing to Novak Djokovic in five sets.

Zverev might not be the only top 10 men's player absent from the year's final Grand Slam. Djokovic is unlikely to be able to play because of his refusal to get vaccinated against Covid.

The 21-time major winner was forced out of last week's Cincinnati Masters and Montreal earlier this month for the same reason.

Meanwhile, world No 7 Stefanos Tsitsipas was searching for an explanation for his defeat on Sunday against Borna Coric in the Cincinnati Open final after the Greek made a fast start to the contest before fading to a straight-set loss.

Against an opponent still on the comeback trail after surgery on his right shoulder, the 24-year-old Tsitsipas jumped to a 4-1 lead in the opening set but saw the world No 152 Coric turn the tables for a 7-6, 6-2 victory.

Asked if he knew what made the difference after his brisk start, Tsitsipas said: "I'm not in any condition to answer this question, because I'm still looking for the answer myself. I don't have a clear answer for that."

Coric soared a remarkable 123 places in the ATP rankings after becoming the lowest ranked player to win a Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati.

Updated: August 22, 2022, 3:33 PM