French Open 2024: Rafael Nadal vs Alexander Zverev Preview, Stats and Prediction

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Once the French Open draw was announced, there was one clear standout tie on the men’s side. Alexander Zverev will face Rafael Nadal in what could be the last time the fourteen-time champion takes part in this event. It was here two years ago where the pair were involved in a tight clash before injury saw Zverev retire down 6-7 6-6.

Zverev is coming into the event in good form, having won the title in Rome. The draw did end up falling kindly for him but it was still an impressive run, finished off with a 6-4 7-5 win against Nicolas Jarry in the final. He is finally back in the Top 4 after this, edging out Daniil Medvedev by 10 points in the currently live rankings.

Nadal’s return hasn’t gone as well as many would have hoped but some will see it as a success he can still compete at tour level with all the injuries he has dealt with over the years. An encouraging practice session on Saturday suggests he will at the very least be ready and able to compete. “In the practices, without a doubt I improved. Especially in terms of movements. So I don’t feel the limitations that I felt in Rome in terms of running to both sides, so that’s a lot for me.” he said.

Writing off Nadal has always seemed foolish but it feels like it may be correct to do this time round. The physicality advantage he previously held over 99% of the tour is no longer there while Zverev is back at his best after early post-injury struggles. Some of Nadal’s power is gone and he has been unfortunate enough to draw an opponent who is far too strong to falter under the crowd pressure.

Prediction – Alexander Zverev in straight sets

Aaron Higgs
Aaron Higgshttp://www.aceofbaseline.com
Experienced tennis writer with a focus on event previews and results.
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