Just after winning the Mutua Madrid Open Alexander Zverev shared his views on the upcoming Roland Garros and the prospects of Rafael Nadal winning it once again.
The German tennis star spoke to the media ahead of his Italian Open clash with Hugo Dellien of Bolivia. Zverev asserted that Nadal will once again start as favourites to win the French Open this year again despite his recent form.
The 24-year-old recently defeated the ‘King of Clay’ and knocked him out of the Madrid Open 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinals. The Spaniard looked very jaded and passive throughout the game which allowed the youngster to muscle his way past Nadal.
However after the match, Nadal himself admitted that he did everything wrong in that game and was disappointed with his performance. The Spaniard will now look to regain his mojo at the Italian Open which is his last chance of assessment ahead of the Ronald Garros.
Zverev, who attended the pre-tournament press conference, assured that Nadal will be back to his best when the French Open starts. He also warns the other players not to discount the Spaniard considering his current form.
“He’s (Rafael Nadal) still the favourite, that hasn’t changed,” Zverev said. “You have to beat him. The chance for him is relatively great. Our job is to prevent that from happening.”
The 24-year-old then went on to name himself, Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem to be the primary contenders to challenge Nadal and stop him from winning the Roland Garros this year.
“Novak, Domi, me and a few others, we can challenge him,” Zverev remarked.
Zverev has also been very vocal about the crowd capacity management in the courts amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Only a minor percent of fans are allowed in the stands and that is heartbreaking for supporters and even for players as they miss the atmosphere and the buzz around them during an important match.
Lastly, he also added how he misses the fans filling the stands and the energy and the passion that they bring to the sport.
It’s different. A finale with fans is different than in front of empty stands. Sports are emotions, regardless of whether they are a team or individual sport. You get it from the audience. You hear noises, there is always something going on, I miss that,” he signed off.