Alexander Zverev suffered another desperately disappointing result at Grand Slam level, losing in the third round of a major for the third time in 2018.
The world No. 4 has become one of the ATP Tours most consistent players but is yet to truly make his mark in best-of-five sets tennis.
His latest defeat was at the hands of a fellow German some 13 years his senior, as Philipp Kohlschreiber reached the fourth round of the US Open for the fifth time in his career.
Alexander Zverev Grand Slam record 2018
Australian Open: Round three (l. Chung)
French Open: Quarter-finals (l. Thiem)
Wimbledon: Round three (l. Gulbis)
US Open: Round three (l. Kohlschreiber)
However, Zverev played down his poor record at Slams this year.
When asked if he felt the same player at majors compared to regular tour events, he replied: You are overthinking this way too much.
I mean, at tour events I lose, as well. Theres just more tour events. You probably recognise it less. I lost to Robin Haase last week in Cincinnati. I lost to [Stefanos] Tsitsipas in Toronto. Those are not that great losses for me either.
Theres a lot of focus on the Grand Slams. Ive obviously done well in Paris, but not at the other Grand Slams this year maybe for different reasons.
I mean, Australia, I played against [Hyeon] Chung, who played very well. Wimbledon I was still recovering from an injury. Here I played a good opponent. Just couldnt find my best game today.
The 21-year-old linked up with Andy Murrays former coach Ivan Lendl ahead of the tournament and revealed the Czechs focus is on preparing the young German for next season, although he wouldnt hide his disappointment in defeat.
I mean, hes very straightforward, Zverev added. He said that its a process of getting there. Its a process of playing well at Slams.
He told me before the tournament started that, “Hopefully youll do very well at the US Open, but were more looking towards next year”. Were more looking towards being at latter stages, competing for slams next year.
I understand it. I still want to win, obviously. I want to win today, then playing [Kei] Nishikori next, who I just played in Washington. I feel like it would have been a pretty okay matchup for me, as well. I wanted to go far.
But, you know, wishes dont always come true.