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Alexander Zverev excited for 'most open' Wimbledon men's singles in 20 years

The men's singles tournament at Wimbledon is the most open for 20 years, according to world number four Alexander Zverev.

Only five different players have won the event since Roger Federer's first title in 2003, with Carlos Alcaraz ending Novak Djokovic's five-year unbeaten run last summer.

But, with Djokovic limited in his preparations after knee surgery and Alcaraz and world number one Jannik Sinner both still inexperienced on grass, Zverev believes the prize is there for the taking.

The German, who lost to Alcaraz in five sets in the French Open final earlier this month, said: "It's the first time I really feel like I'm here to be a competitor, to maybe win the title. I didn't feel like that previous years when I came here. I didn't feel like I was capable.

"I also do think this is the most open Wimbledon championship that we maybe had in 20 years in terms of favourites, in terms of potential winners. I think there's multiple guys who have a very decent chance of going deep and very decent chance of winning the tournament.

"I don't think it has been like that since before Roger started playing. After Roger came Rafa (Nadal), Novak, Andy (Murray). It was always a very limited amount of guys who were actually able to compete and to win the tournaments. I really feel it's different this year."

Alcaraz will be aiming to disprove Zverev's theory, and warned his rivals that he has sharpened up considerably since losing to Jack Draper at Queen's Club last week.

"I'm feeling great," said the Spaniard. "Honestly, after Queen's, I had a lot of days to adapt my game, to practise, to get better.

"I remember after losing in Queen's, the next day I started practising my movement, my shots, just to be more comfortable moving on grass, playing on grass this year.

"Right now I had great practices with great players just to see how is my level. I think I'm ready to start the tournament."

Having lifted his third grand slam title in Paris, the 21-year-old is hoping to join the select group of players — most recently Nadal in 2010 — to have won the French Open and Wimbledon back to back.

"Winning grand slams is difficult," said Alcaraz. "Obviously changing from clay to a grass court, totally different surfaces, totally different game of play.

"Let's say I'm going to try. Obviously I want to put my name on that short list to win Roland Garros and Wimbledon in the same year. I know that there's going to be a really difficult and big challenge for me, but I think I'm ready to do it."

Until beating him in the semi-finals at Roland Garros, Alcaraz had had to play second fiddle in 2024 to Italian Sinner, who claimed his first slam title at the Australian Open before overtaking Djokovic at the top of the standings.

Sinner struggled with injury going into Paris but won a title on grass in Halle last week and believes he is fully prepared for Wimbledon.

"After Paris I took some days off and then back to work," said the 22-year-old. "I feel physically much better than in the beginning of Roland Garros because there I arrived with some doubts. Here I have no doubts about my body."

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