Boteach van de Zandschulp is ready to play for the Netherlands in the group stage of the Davis Cup Finals in Split, Croatia. The 27-year-old tennis player has only played three matches since recovering from an ankle injury, but could play against Finland on Tuesday.
“I’m fit enough otherwise I wouldn’t be here,” he said of the first group match with the United States and Croatia. “I played in the US Open, and if I have to play on Tuesday, I can play.” “Things are going better than they were a few weeks ago. Things went very quickly, I went to America and I was still able to play there, which I did not expect.”
Van de Zandsholb thought he would never play in the United States. He lost a match at the Winston-Salem Championship and reached the second round of the US Open, where he lost to Britain’s Daniel Evans. “It’s getting better every day. It’s not quite where it should be, but it’s good enough to play with.”
The tennis player injured his ankle during training after Wimbledon and almost ruptured the ankle ligaments. He spent several weeks at home in a soft bag, a flexible plaster cast. Prior to that, he had also suffered a foot injury in the spring.
“My left foot really got a turn this year,” he says. “Things haven’t been good for a while and I’ve had pain in my feet for five months now. It doesn’t make it any easier, but it’s something I have to deal with for the time being. Hopefully I can get this over with.” The chapter by the end of the year could close.”
The left foot also has an effect on the tennis player’s mentality. “I also want to play my best and be able to play freely. It’s hard sometimes. I need matches to feel moving again. This works well in training and I hope I can get that back in matches.”
Once on the track, Van de Zandsholb does so with confidence. “If I don’t have confidence in my feet, I won’t play. If you don’t have confidence in your movement, modern tennis is very hard. I can move really well. It’s still a little awkward at times, but it’s not that I’m afraid to go into a corner.”
Last year, he achieved impressive victories over Britain’s Cameron Norrie and American Taylor Fritz in the Davis Cup finals. “I don’t know how level they were at that time, I think they finished around 10th. It’s great victories. The fact that we won as a team from both countries was very good. It gave us a boost, and that’s how we are”. I will go now.”
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