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Zverev: Awful Performance

Alexander Zverev arrived in Melbourne aiming to win his maiden major and take a shot at the No. 1 ranking.

The world No. 3 was beating up himself after departing the Australian Open fourth round in a dismal 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 loss to Denis Shapovalov.

More: Shapovalov Surging with Coach Delgado

A candid Zverev credited Wimbledon semifinalist Shapovalov for outplaying him, but ripped his own performance as "awful."

"He was standing back on the returns, which I haven't seen before. I think he was making a lot more returns," Zverev said. "To be honest, there is not much I can say or take away that was positive from today. Maybe since Wimbledon, one of the worst matches I have played. It's just tough.

"I mean, look, I obviously, I give credit to Denis. It's incredible he's in the quarters. I think he deserves it. He's done a lot of work. He's improved his game. But I've got to look at myself, as well. Today was just, yeah, today was just, in my opinion, awful from my side."

While Shapovalov moves on to a quarterfinal showdown vs. 2009 champion Rafael Nadal, Zverev is left to pick up the pieces.

Tennis Express

The Olympic gold-medal champion dropped to 1-7 in his last eight matches vs. Top 20 opponents at majors.

"At the end of the day, I've got to do better," Zverev said. "I came here with a goal to win, and maybe to become No. 1 and all that. But if I play like that, I don't deserve it. It's as simple as that...

"look, there are no excuses. I need to be better, I need to do better. It's as simple as that. It's no one else's fault. It's not the coach's fault, it's not my team's fault, it's no one else's fault. It's purely me. At the end of the day, as the world No. 3, I have to take responsibilities for the things I do and don't do. Today was, yeah, was just not good enough to beat someone like Denis."

Photo credit: Getty