FRENCH OPEN: ALEXANDER ZVEREV – WHICH SPEAKS FOR THE OLYMPIC CHAMPION IN THE SEMIFINALS AGAINST RAFAEL NADAL
For the first time in his career, Alexander Zverev tackles a match that many in the scene consider to be the most difficult task: a duel with Rafael Nadal at the French Open. On the Court Philippe-Chatrier. In the semifinals. Against the crowd, which will primarily push the Spaniard. However: Zverev could not be better prepared. There are good arguments in favor of the hamburger.
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.
Brother Mischa Zverev revealed these factors exclusively at Eurosport 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.
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 you be beaten if you play well? You can be number one.”
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.
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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