Double champion Alexander Zverev is preparing for his star status at the ATP Munich event, with the soon-to-be 27-year-old lamenting his “veteran” status on the Bavarian clay,

With a birthday coming up at the weekend, the 2017 and 2018 champion here reflecting on his decade of history at the tournament.

“I’m getting old,” he joked. “But careers have become longer. Many players start to show their best tennis at the age of 27 or 28. 

“I’m more than happy about what I have already achieved but there are still things I want to go for. I haven’t won a Grand Slam title, and I haven’t been ranked World No. 1. 

“But the most important thing is to stay healthy.”

The ATP No. 5 added: “The last 10 years passed quickly. It feels like it was yesterday when I lost to Jürgen Melzer in my first match in Munich without having a chance 6-1, 6-2 (2014). 

You have to appreciate your career as a tennis pro. The older you get, the better you understand that you cannot live this kind of life forever. 

“I love being a tennis player; and I’m still here; I am not going to retire tomorrow.”

Zverev will make his start after a bye against Austrian Jurij Rodionov in a first-time meeting.

Conditions in southern Germany have been blustery and wet since the start of the week, as compared to the sun and warmer temperatures of last week.

“Today it was a bit more difficult to get rhythm in these windy conditions, but I felt the balls pretty well and I hope for a good week here,” the top seed  said.

No. 5 Felix Auger-Aliassime won his debut match at the venue after a struggle with German Maximilian Marterer, saving a match point.

The 6-7(5), 7-6(6), 7-6(3) comeback win took nearly three and a half hours and set a record for the 250-level event.

“It was a crazy match, one of the craziest I have played,” the Canadian said.

“Luck was on my side when I saved match point. Ninety-nine per cent of the time you lose a match like this. 

“It went my way, and I am happy to stay alive in the tournament, getting a chance to play again,” he said after staging a comeback for the first time in 2024.

“It was cooler than the last few days of practice. Hard wind at times. 

“You never know from which direction it was coming. It was tricky but I had to fight without being pretty on the court.”