Zverev Cracks "I Can Become French" Joke to Ease Roland Garros Hostilities

Zverev Cracks "I Can Become French" Joke to Ease Roland Garros Hostilities

by Alex Waite

Alexander Zverev joked about changing nationalities at the 2023 Roland Garros to win over support from the vociferous home crowd.

The Roland Garros home support has been challenging for some competitors so far. Tensions reached a boiling point on Thursday when US player Taylor Fritz was booed for over a minute by the Court Suzanne-Lenglen crowd after he eliminated French player Arthur Rinderknech.

As the Parisian crowd has a reputation for providing passion and unflinching support for its favoured players, some competitors can find the atmosphere challenging. However, German player Zverev tried a more humourous approach to get the home crowd on his side after he beat Alex Molcan in the second round and the 26-year-old joked that he was willing to become French for the remainder of the tournament.

"It's not so nice to play when you guys are against us because it is very loud, it is very hostile. But maybe for the next 10 days I can become French and then we can all be happy when I'm here on court and we can enjoy the court here,"

"Merci beaucoup, Paris. That's all I can say,"

Zverev said in his post-match interview

It was a more laid-back approach from the German player following his challenging experience at the French Open in 2022. During a five-set marathon match with Sebastian Baez, Zverev lost his nerve in the crucial third set after several errors, when the crowd responded with boos and jeers.

But in his post-match interview after his second round victory on Thursday, Zverev was more at ease with proceedings this time around.

"Yeah. Honestly, it was quite nice for me to get out there, especially after last year. I think it was a great atmosphere. It was a great feeling for me. I'm definitely happy with how everything went."


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