“Our Job Is to Prevent That”: Alexander Zverev Asserts Rafael Nadal is Still the Favorite at French Open

Published 05/12/2021, 3:15 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Madrid Open – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – May 7, 2021 Germany’s Alexander Zverev and Spain’s Rafael Nadal after their quarter final match REUTERS/Sergio Perez


World No. 6 Alexander Zverev has arrived in Rome as the Madrid Open 2021 champion. At the Italian Open, the German is again set to collide with the record nine-time Italian Open champion Rafael Nadal. Moreover, Zverev believes that the Spaniard is still the most significant threat at the French Open.

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Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after winning championship point during his Men’s Singles Final against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day fifteen of the 2020 French Open at Roland Garros in Paris, France. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The 24-year-old German recently defeated Nadal in the Madrid Open quarterfinals and improved his winning streak to three against the 20-time Grand Slam champion.

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In Rome, Alexander Zverev opened up on the dominance of Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros. Moreover, he also has plans to stop the Spaniard this time around.

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“You have to beat him”: Zverev on Nadal being the favorite in Paris

The record 13-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal is the undisputed king at Roland Garros. Naturally, the German ace Zverev ranks the Spaniard above all else at the French Open 2021.

In a recent interview, Zverev was asked about Rafael Nadal’s favorite status in Paris, to which the German had a prompt response. “He’s still the favorite; that hasn’t changed,” Zverev said“You have to beat him.”

(All quotes are translated from German to English via Google Translate).

Furthermore, the US Open 2020 finalist stated that while Nadal aims for the title, the others need to stop him. He also named the chief contenders capable of stopping the Spaniard’s run at the French Open. Zverev said, “The chance for him is relatively great. Our job is to prevent that from happening.”

According to Zverev, the task to stop Rafa in Paris is upon Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem, himself, and a few others.

At the Italian Open, players will strive to go deeper in the tournament to boost their chances at the French Open 2021.

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Last year’s quarterfinalist Nadal will begin his campaign against local teenage star Jannik Sinner. This will be one of the most thrilling early encounters in Rome.

PARIS, FRANCE October 06. Winner Rafael Nadal of Spain is congratulated by Jannik Sinner of Italy at the net after the Quarter Final match of the singles competition on Court Philippe-Chatrier during the French Open Tennis Tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Zverev did not play at the Italian Open 2020. The event was just after his US Open final, and so he decided to rest instead. He will play Hugo Dellien in the second-round match at this year’s edition.

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The German will look forward to continuing his good run in Rome. If all goes right for Zverev and Nadal, they will again meet in the quarterfinals of a Masters 1000 event.

Above all, the next month will be a blockbuster for those who are fans of clay. Will Nadal win his 21st Grand Slam at French Open this year?

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Purav Joshi

825 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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