Mischa Zverev believes brother Alexander Zverev is not “far away” from his best level ahead of his biggest test since returning from injury.
He faces Daniil Medvedev at Indian Wells.
Zverev suffered torn ankle ligaments in the French Open semi-finals on June 3 and missed the rest of the season.
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He has been working his way back this season and has reached the last 16 of Indian Wells, where he faces former world No. 1 Medvedev on Tuesday evening.
Asked how close Zverev is to his top level, brother Mischa told Eurosport Germany: “Sascha [Alexander] is not far away. He can already call up his top level.
“Now he just needs work on being able to call up this performance on a permanent basis. And in fitness, he can get even stronger. It’s hard to say how much he’s still missing, but I can see that he can still get fitter, he has potential.”
Zverev was in with a chance of getting to world No. 1 at last year’s French Open before injury ended his chances of beating Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals.
He is now ranked at No. 14 and has an 8-7 win-loss record this season.
Asked what his brother still needs to work on to return to his best, Mischa Zverev said: “There is no big construction site, the road or the building is ready, you must test it under match conditions.
“There is no concrete plan as far as time is concerned. The important thing is that he keeps improving, and he does.
“He has to feel that he is making progress, then the work is fruitful and it’s always more fun when you notice that things are progressing.”
The head-to-head record between Zverev and Medvedev currently stands at 6-6, but this will be the first time they have met since the 2021 ATP Finals.
“I’m sure we’re going to have a lot of rallies,” said Medvedev.
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“It’s going to come down to who makes – after 20 shots – the best shot to try to put your opponent off balance, which is not easy to do here.
“He’s coming back, he’s playing better and better. I think he’s not yet at where he was when he got injured, but every new match against a top player is an opportunity for him to bring back this level. So I’m going to have to try to play my best, and postpone it for at least [the] next tournament.”
Jack Draper faces Carlos Alcaraz later on the same court and Emma Raducanu takes on world No. 1 Iga Swiatek.
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