Zverev's Brisbane horror show deepens

Ed Jackson
Alexander Zverev of Germany reacts after missing a shot during his ATP Cup loss on Tuesday

German star Alexander Zverev admits he's short of practice and low on confidence heading into the Australian Open.

Zverev slumped to his third defeat from three matches at the ATP Cup in Brisbane on Tuesday, with the world No.7 left in a serving crisis less than two weeks before the start of the opening grand slam of the year.

The 22-year-old served up seven double-faults in his 6-2 6-2 defeat to Canada's Denis Shapovalov at Pat Rafter Arena.

It means across his three matches in Brisbane, Zverev recorded 31 double faults from 31 service games.

Zverev said an off-season exhibition tour in South America alongside Swiss great Roger Federer had left him behind in his preparations for Melbourne Park.

"I had like five days less than I normally have ... I didn't practice a lot of tennis," he said.

"I think you can see that on the tennis court."

Germany's 2-1 loss to the Canadians confirmed the Europeans' exit from the tournament and leaves Zverev with no more matches until the opening round of the Open.

A player who has long been touted for great things, Zverev's grand slam record is largely unimpressive.

His two best performances have been quarter-finals at the past two French Opens, while last year's fourth-round exit was his best performance at an Australian Open.

The former junior world No.1 concedes he has a lot to get right on the practice court if he's to better that effort this year.

"Generally I'm not playing good, so there's a lot of things that I still need to improve, but it's the start of the season," he said, admitting his confidence was "not really that high".

"Usually at the Hopman Cup when I play always played bad as well.

"But this is unfortunate, this is a more competitive event, I think.