French Open: Alexander Zverev – which speaks for the Olympic champion in the semifinals against Rafael Nadal

French Open: Alexander Zverev – which speaks for the Olympic champion in the semifinals against Rafael Nadal
Written by insideindyhomes

Goran Ivanisevic has summed up what is coming to his protégé Novak Djokovic and now also to Alexander Zverev. Competing against Rafael Nadal in Roland-Garros would be ‘like coming to someone’s living room’.

Zverev, on the other hand, believes that there is something on this pitch “that makes Rafa 30 percent better”. The statement shows how great the appreciation and respect for the 13-time Paris champion is.

The Zverev camp is aware that the Spaniard is only the favorite at first glance. In fact, there are a number of reasons that speak for the success of the world number three.

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Brothers Mischa Zverev has exclusively at Eurosport revealed these factors in a comparison between the Olympic champion, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz. “Sascha has the fastest forehand of this quartet. The fastest backhand – has Sascha. The fastest serve as well,” explained the 34-year-old.

Mischa to Alexander Zverev: “How should you be beaten…?”

Even the footwork is absolutely competitive, although the German from “this circle is the largest, but also has the greatest range. In addition, there is a complete repertoire of punches. “Sascha also plays aggressively and has a good defense,” explained Mischa Zverev. The message to the brother is therefore: “How should one beat you if you play well? You can be number one.”

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Should Zverev actually win the title in Roland-Garros, he will be number one. It would be a historic double whammy, especially since there has not been a German French Open champion for men since the Open Era began in 1968.
What gives the 25-year-old an additional tailwind before the showdown with the clay court king is the first win against a top ten player in one of the four Grand Slam competitions. He got that in the quarter-finals against shooting star Carlos Alcaraz, currently number six in the ranking. “Above all, he wasn’t the favorite and proved to the critics that he can do it,” emphasized brother Mischa.

Zverev is significantly more rested than Nadal

It is an impressive overall package with which the Hamburg player is now going into the semifinals against Nadal – and is aiming for his second win in a major event against a professional from the top ten. Both players made it into the last four with 15:4 sets. The Spaniard has been on the pitch almost 40 minutes longer in the previous five laps, but the statistics of the past two laps are much more important.

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Zverev needed six hours and three minutes for a three-set win against Bernabé Zapata Miralles and a four-set win against Alcaraz.
Nadal has five sets against Félix Auger-Aliassime and four against Djokovic for a total playing time of eight hours and 33 minutes. Not forgetting that he converted his match point against the defending champions Serbia at 1:15 a.m. on the night.

The question of who goes into the match more rested answers itself.

Zverev: Just don’t get too dogged in Nadal’s living room

Nadal leads 6: 3 in a direct comparison and also prevailed in the last encounter to date in 2021 at the Clay Court Masters in Rome, but Zverev can claim to have won three of the past four matches be.

Zverev explains his brother’s routine: The facility is his home

But Zverev wants to prevent a mistake at all costs. He has sometimes lost in the past “because I put too much pressure on myself to win a Grand Slam”. That is the “ultimate goal”, but it cannot be achieved with too much doggedness – and certainly not if you have to compete in Nadal’s living room.

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