“Ready for This Step”: Alexander Zverev Confident About Title-Run and Meeting Rafael Nadal at French Open 2021

Published 05/20/2021, 6:25 AM EDT


Things turned around for the German World No.6 Alexander Zverev at the Mutua Madrid Open 2021. He got the better of two great clay-courters, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem, to win his second Madrid Masters 1000 title. Now, as he gears up for the upcoming French Open 2021, he is confident enough to claim his maiden Grand Slam title.

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Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Madrid Open – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – May 9, 2021 Germany’s Alexander Zverev celebrates with the trophy after winning the Madrid Open REUTERS/Sergio Perez

The closest he has ever come to winning a Grand Slam was at the 2020 US Open. Painstakingly, the 23-year-old scraped a two-set lead and lost the title to the Austrian ace, Dominic Thiem.

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According to Zverev, the loss has haunted him; however, at the same time, it helped him improve as a tennis professional. And now, he is hungrier to clinch his first Slam.

“I want it even more now,” the German said. “I think I’ve been a better tennis player since then. I sat down and thought I had to improve things, do things differently.” (All quotes are translated from German via Google Translate).

But since French Open is the point of conversation, one cannot keep the undisputed champion of the tournament, Rafael Nadal, out. Interestingly, they both have already met twice on clay this year and stand at a 1-1 score.

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Alexander Zverev confident to take on Rafael Nadal test at French Open 2021

Despite losing to Rafa in Italian Open 2021, Zverev is looking forward to meeting the Spaniard at Roland Garros. Notably, it is the fourth consecutive year where the 20-time Grand Slam champion will defend his crown in Paris.

Unsurprisingly, the Spaniard is also the No.1 favorite for Zverev in Paris, but he is also confident about his game. “Of course, I’ve played well lately. If we meet again in Paris, it will also be a very interesting game,” Zverev said.

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

But above all, the German No.1 feels convinced about going to Paris. It is the win in Madrid that gave him the much-need self-belief before campaigning for a major tournament.

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“I feel okay; I feel fit.” Zverev emphasized, “I am ready for this step. The tournament in Madrid gave me a lot of confidence.”

However, this time, the field in Paris will be one of the most difficult to conquer. With Thiem, Tsitsipas, Djokovic, and other hungry to stop Rafa, it will be an exciting contest without a doubt.

Only time will tell whether Zverev can convert his rhythm into a major success or not. The French Open 2021 will start on 30th May 2021. Have you finalized your favorite for the Paris title?

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Purav Joshi

816 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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