Zverev explains Ferrero split, denies Becker rumours

Alexander Zverev revealed the reason for his split with coach Juan Carlos Ferrero and denied claims Boris Becker will join his team.

Former world number one Ferrero was appointed by Zverev last July but has not been accompanying the German on tour since the Australian Open, where Zverev lost to surprise package Hyeon Chung in five sets in the third round.

After booking a place in the semi-finals of the Mexican Open on Thursday, the 20-year-old, ranked fifth in the world, confirmed an argument at Melbourne Park led to the end of their working relationship.

"My team is exactly the same except Juan Carlos left," Zverev told a news conference.

"We had a kind of a fight in Australia after the Australian Open, which is fine when it involves me and him. I have those kind of arguments [with other team members] and we are still working fine.

"That argument there involved my whole team and there was a moment where he was very disrespectful towards everybody in my team and that's why I had to stop the relationship."

Zverev refuted suggestions Becker, who was in Novak Djokovic's box as the Serbian established himself as the dominant force on the ATP Tour between 2013 and 2016, would replace Ferrero.

He said: "I'm not going to work with Boris Becker. This is a very big misunderstanding. He's the head of men's tennis in the German Federation so he's going to be there at a few tournaments.

"He's always more than welcome on my court, to watch my matches, and that's how this relationship is."

Zverev's rise up the rankings has been aided by serious injuries to some of the sport's top competitors.

Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka will miss the Indian Wells Masters and the Miami Open through respective hip and knee problems, while the participation of Rafael Nadal and Djokovic remains uncertain.

Zverev believes the demands on players are too high and advocates a shortening of the season.

"We play until the end of November and that gives us only four weeks of an off-season where we have to take time off, and then we have to prepare," said the German.

"I think our season is a little bit too long, maybe, because we just don't have time to rest properly, we don't have time to prepare properly, to do our physical work.

"Then we also have a lot of mandatory tournaments - we have 13 mandatory events so it's quite a lot in a year and then by the rules we still have to play a few 500s and a few 250s.

"It's quite a lot, but it's not the amount of tennis but it's just too long and we don't have enough time away from the sport, which other professional sports all do.

"It would be nice to have one and a half or two months off."

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