Germany's Zverev crashes out of Japan Open after 'poor' performance in first round

Third-ranked Alexander Zverev said he "played a very bad game" after losing to world number 60 Jordan Thompson in the first round of the Japan Open on Monday.

World number nine Zverev of Germany suffered a 6-3, 6-4 defeat in Tokyo a week after falling at the first hurdle of the Shanghai Masters.

"I didn't do anything good," Zverev, who won the Chengdu Open in China last month, said after breaking Thompson three times. "I played very poorly today," Zverev said.

He played very well, he served very well but for me, it is a very bad match. I don’t know what to say."

Zverev said that Roman Safiulin's illness had hurt him in Shanghai, but that Thompson had made it "tougher" for him.

The Australian lost to Novak Djokovic in straight sets at this year's Wimbledon but did not back down against Zverev.

"I'm not as good as them, but when I go out on the court with these guys, I believe I can beat them," the 29-year-old said. If you don't believe it, you probably don't belong here, so I'm really enjoying the challenge."

Zverev was returning to Japan for the first time since winning Olympic gold at the Tokyo Games two years ago, which were held behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"It was great to play in front of the crowd but I only played one match," he said. "I lost today so the feeling is not very good right now," he said.

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