The German Alexander Zverev, 25, world number 2, revealed on Saturday that he had been diabetic since childhood and that he had just created the "Alexander Zverev Foundation" to fight against this disease.
“August 6, 2022 is a very special day for my family and myself.
Today, the Alexander Zverev Foundation was officially born, to help children suffering from type 1 diabetes and help people prevent possible type 2 diabetes by leading a healthy and active life,” wrote the finalist of the US Open 2020 on his Instagram account.
On the same day, Zverev said in an interview with RTL Germany that he had decided to launch this foundation, based in Hamburg, his hometown, together with his brother Mischa Zverev, "to show the world that you shouldn't set limits because of of this disease”.
The reigning Olympic champion, diagnosed with diabetes at the age of three and a half, also confided in a long interview published in L'Equipe on Monday.
"When I was little, all the doctors we went to see with my parents kept telling us: 'There is absolutely no chance that you can play high-level sport with this type of disease,' says the German. on the team.
You can practice tennis as a leisure activity, but you will never reach a sufficient physical level.'' I believe that today I can say that they were wrong.
With this foundation, I want to send the message to parents and children around the world that there are no limits except those that you impose on yourself.
Diabetes shouldn't stop you from becoming the person you want to be."
Alexander Zverev on his diabetes: "I was ashamed. At school, people often made fun of me. In CM2, someone had stolen all my equipment, my (blood sugar) meter, my insulin... I ended up finding him outside, on the ground, totally broken."
— Alexander Zverev FR🇨🇵 (@SaschazverevFR) August 7, 2022
The player also details how he constantly monitors his blood sugar, especially during matches: “I have the meter in my racket bag.
The ATP authorizes me to use it (...) I control myself at each change of side.
I don't have an insulin pump, I do the injections myself.
I always have my insulin pen with me, ”he explains to the sports daily.
The world number 2, seriously injured in the right ankle on a resumption of support during his Homeric semi-final at Roland-Garros against the Spaniard Rafael Nadal on June 4 (when the score was 7-6 (10/ 8), 6-6 in favor of the Spaniard) also added that it was premature for him to decide on his participation in the US Open which begins on August 29.
"It's still too early for that", declared on RTL / ntv the player who has just resumed training in Monte-Carlo where he lives, and who wants "to be 100%" for the Davis Cup in mid-September .
Zverev, who posted a video on Instagram on Sunday where we see him playing, in any case declared himself "very happy" to have resumed training and "surprised, first by the way I played and not to have felt any pain”.