Alexander Zverev Upsets Rafael Nadal to Extend Outstanding 12-Match Winning Streak at Rolex Paris Masters

Published 11/07/2020, 12:22 PM EST
Spain’s Rafael Nadal during his semi final match against Germany’s Alexander Zverev REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes


Top seed Rafael Nadal went down in a straight-sets defeat to Alexander Zverev in the semifinals of Rolex Paris Masters. This extended Zverev’s winning streak to 12 and solidly preparing him for the ATP Finals. The scorecard read- 6-4, 7-5.

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For Nadal the agenda was simple: to win his first Paris Masters title. Masters titles in Paris and Miami have eluded Nadal. Nadal’s dominance on the French Open is well known but on the hard courts of Paris Masters, Nadal is yet to open his account. Furthermore, a Paris Masters title would have brought Nadal level with Novak Djokovic in the ATP Masters 1000  title tally of 36.

Alexander Zverev celebrates winning his Rolex Paris Masters semi-final match against Rafael Nadal. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Zverev has had a strong post lockdown season. US Open 2020 final and multiple titles in Cologne. A Paris Masters title would be the perfect icing on the cake. Even with the ongoing troubles off the court, Zverev has shown great focus and concentration on the court.

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Zverev’s new coach and Nadal’s former rival, David Ferrer will be happy with Zverev’s victory. Ferrer is a former Paris Masters champion.

Rafael Nadal vs Alexander Zverev: First Set

Rafael Nadal again had a slow and sloppy start. He was predictable and offered no challenge to Zverev early on. Zverev on the other hand left behind all his service troubles. He maintained a high first-serve percentage which was unbeatable. Zverev took an early break and then led the first set 3-1.

Alexander Zverev in action during his semi-final match against Spain’s Rafael Nadal. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Further on, Nadal was slowly reaching his strides but Zverev was firing in fierce winners. Zverev’s backhand was top notch and he made it look easy. Nadal had an awful first-serve percentage. He couldn’t breach Zverev’s mighty serve and Zverev got a chance to serve for the set at 5-4. Zverev converted his third set point to claim the first set 6-4. Zverev had hit 19 winners in the first set to Nadal’s 7.

Second Set

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Zverev started from where he left the first set. Strong on serve with a potent backhand. Nadal tried mixing things up but it didn’t help. Zverev’s forehand and backhand delivered low balls that weren’t to Nadal’s liking which helped him break early to lead 2-1.

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Zverev displayed a calm and patient stroke play. He forced Nadal to take the defensive route in most of the rallies. Nadal used his slices a lot but Zverev at times converted them into strong strokes close to the lines. The Spaniard was getting a bit paranoid with himself and gave a few cheap points to Zverev. But a loss in concentration and a nervy game from Zverev gave Nadal the break back at 4-4. With the tide turning, Nadal suddenly looked favorite for the second set but Zverev didn’t let it go and broke Nadal again to serve for the match at 6-5. Zverev held his serve and won the match 6-4, 7-5.

Zverev won his second match against Nadal with the overall head-to-head being 5-2. He will next play Daniil Medvedev in the finals tomorrow.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1226 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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