'Rafael Nadal is never easy to beat,' Alexander Zverev recalls

“Rafael Nadal is never easy to beat,” remembers Alexander Zverev

Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev met ten times. The Spaniard was victorious in their first five encounters before the German claimed three straight wins, including one on clay. Alexander toppled Rafa at the 2019 ATP Finals and they faced off at the Paris Masters a year later.

Zverev used the indoor conditions to claim his second straight victory over Nadal, beating him 6-4, 7-5 for a place in the seventh Masters 1000 final. After winning two titles in Cologne, the German came to the French capital and reached the third final in a row.

Nadal couldn’t find a solution on Zverev’s serve, causing his rival to hit many service winners and suffer only one break. Rafa was broken three times to lose ground and propel Alexander over the top. Zverev grabbed a break in the third game of the opener and extended a 3-1 lead after 14 minutes after an unreturned serve.

Nadal landed a backhand down the line at 2-4 to stay in touch before Zverev took the set 5-4 with a drop shot winner, hoping for more of the same in the second.

Alexander Zverev defeated Rafael Nadal in straight sets at the Paris Masters 2020.

Rafa was broken 1-1 in the second set after a weak volley to find himself in a challenging position.

The Spaniard missed two break chances when the score was 2: 3 after two winning goals by the German. Serving at 2-4, Nadal fended off four break points to stay within a break deficit and returned to the positive side with a break in game eight.

Rafa held at love for the first time to forge a 5-4 advantage and put the pressure on the other side of the court. Alexander landed an ace to win game ten and earned a break chance in the next after a lucky net winner.

Nadal gave serve away when his backhand landed wide, and Zverev held at 15 a few minutes later to move over the top. “I had a lot of chances in the second set, especially at 4-2. I couldn’t convert them and those moments can turn the game, especially against players like Rafa.

I got my level at 4-5 and everything went well. I feel good about reaching the Masters 1000 final and beating Rafa; it’s never easy, and all players would agree. I’ve been playing well since the start of the season.

I’m happy to be on the pitch. Everything is good for me and I am happy with my tennis; I hope it stays that way. As long as you still have a smile at the end of the day, that’s the most important thing in life in my opinion,” said Alexander Zverev.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.