Updated: Jul 9
The young player Alexander Zverev has won a couple of tournaments. The ATP 250 in Washington and also the ATP 1000 in Montreal. Next tournament, ATP 1000 in Cincinnati. As we watch his game against Francis Tiafoe, we realize how tired he is and how normal that is. After winning two difficult competitions in a row, it is expected that he will not recover to be in perfect shape for the third one. It is also known that he will reach his best physical conditions after he turns 23 or 24 years old and he is only 20 now. Even though he is German, he comes from a Russian family with all the background of excellency on physical preparation. He is getting stronger and developing stamina as well. But we can also say that no professional athlete, no matter the sport, can peak perform for too long. That said, we have to remember Federer's interview where he asked ATP to spend more money on preventing doping. After all, he still wants to win more major tournaments, and he knows it is almost impossible to compete with players on performance enhancing drugs.
As it happened in cycling, an olympic sport as well, there should be some serious control not only on olympic years, but every year, all year round. We have seen players peak perform for more than 30 weeks in a row in tennis. That is a human impossibility! Unless these players are using performance enhancing drugs. As we know from former tennis professionals, such as Andre Agassi, ATP can be rather soft depending on who is tested positive on performance enhancing drugs or any ilegal substances. Should top players who move lots of money get away with it? That is not what clean competitors and the public in general expect on any sport. It is not fair! We have seen some serious action on cycling when Armstrong's team partners denounced their use of ilegal substances. Lance lost all his 7 world titles.
So, it is time for tennis to come clean! The best player of all times, Federer, would not ask for drugs control if he was not absolutely sure that there are top players performing above human possibilities under the effects of ilegal substances.
TEXT BY GABRIEL PIMENTEL AND PAULO CÉSAR PIMENTEL