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Alexander Zverev has a champion’s impatience as Wimbledon looms

The young German, seeded four, has always wanted to get on with the business of winning big titles on the big Tour

Prodigies in any sport have an unmistakable gunslinger’s swagger. They stand tall, talk with dead-eye certainty and shoot straight. If Alexander Zverev were never to make it as a tennis player he could look back at his highlights reel and see a lot of Billy the Kid in his demeanour.

“Where you from, buddy?” Zverev asked Jonathan Pinfield, the journalist who brought levity and plain-language insight to press conferences at Roland Garros this year. It was not a threat, even if the 21-year-old sounded young-dude smart-arse. As the tall, blond German worked his way through the draw in a succession of tough five-setters before bailing out, exhausted, in the quarter-finals, where Dominic Thiem had his number in three sets, he revealed a lighter side, and player and journalist settled down to some unusual bonding.

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