Alexander Zverev lashed out at Martina Navratilova after the 18-time Grand Slam champion said he had played "pat-a-cake" tennis at times during his victory over Borna Coric in the quarter-finals of the U.S. Open on Tuesday.
The German fifth seed was 6-1, 4-2 down early in his contest against the Croatian before rallying to win in four sets and reach his second Grand Slam semifinal of the year.
The 23-year-old bristled when he was told that Navratilova had said in TV commentary that he would never win a Grand Slam playing the way he had.
"Maybe she should look at my record against the big guys," he said. "Maybe she should look that I'm positive against Roger (Federer). ThatI 've beaten Novak (Djokovic) on multiple occasions in big matches and finals. And I'm in the semis, and sometimes not playing your best and finding a way is more important than playing your best.
"She's a multiple Grand Slam champion, she's respected, but her opinion does not matter to me."
Navratilova later clarified that her comment had been about how unaggressive Zverev had been during his slow start.
"I said Sasha needs to play like he did in the 4th set, not the way he played the 1st 2 sets. It's that simple. But yeah, nice journalism, whoever asked the question. I would have answered the same way Sasha did."