Alexander Zverev blasted the ATP scheduling as an “absolute disgrace” after he was beaten by Carlos Alcaraz in the Madrid Open final.
Defending champion Zverev lost a one-sided match 6-3 6-1 in just 62 minutes to Alcaraz.
The German praised Alcaraz as the “best player in the world” after the contest, but also expressed his unhappiness at having two late-night finishes.
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Zverev’s semi-final win over Stefanos Tsitsipas on Saturday only started at almost midnight while his quarter-final victory against Felix Auger-Aliassime finished deep into the night.
“[Carlos] is playing amazing, there's absolutely no doubt about it," said Zverev on Sunday.
"But one thing I have to say is that the ATP's job was an absolute disgrace this week. Two days ago I went to bed at 4am, 4:30am. Yesterday I went to bed at 5:20am.
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“You know, if any normal person goes to bed one night at 4am, the next night at 5am, it will be a tough time just to be awake for them. And for me to play a final against Carlos Alcaraz, who for me is the best player in the world right now, in a Masters 1000 event, the next day, it is difficult.
“Today on court, I'm a little bit angry, I would say, because I had no coordination on my serve, I had no coordination on my groundstrokes. I missed two overheads that were super easy because I see the ball, and everything is moving in my eyes.
“I don't want to take anything away, and today obviously, even if I'm fresh, probably I would not beat Carlos, but definitely it would be a better match.
"At the end of the day, I think all of us have stayed up late, all of us maybe partied sometimes, but if you're staying up until 4am, the next day, you're dead. If you’re doing it again, the next day until 5am, you will have a difficult time to even be awake.
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"He’s a great player. He's the best in the world right now. But to be honest, I feel sad for the final that we played, because this could have been a very good match. This could have been a great match.
"But I had absolutely no chance today of being myself. I had absolutely no chance of playing my level. This is not the first time this is happening. In Acapulco I played until 5am, I was awake until 8:30am. This is happening on a weekly basis, and to be honest, I'm a little tired of it."
Zverev and Jenson Brooksby set the record for the latest-ever finish in tennis history when they played until 4.55am in Acapulco earlier this year. The match started at 1.30am local time after the two longest matches in tournament history.
Zverev was the defending champion in Madrid but didn’t create a single break-point chance against Alcaraz.
Speaking in his on-court interview, Zverev said: "I want to congratulate Carlitos. Right now you are the best player in the world.
"It is great for tennis that we have such a new superstar that is going to win so many Grand Slams, that is going to be world No 1 and I think is going to win this tournament many more times.”
Zverev is third in the world rankings ahead of the Italian Open and French Open, while Alcaraz will move up to No. 6 on Monday.
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