'I Felt That I Already Won The Tournament': Zverev On Beating Nadal At Roland Garros

'I Felt That I Already Won The Tournament': Zverev On Beating Nadal At Roland Garros

by Nurein Ahmed

Beating Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros has been a rare occurrence in the past two decades, which explains why Alexander Zverev treated that first-round win last Monday as one of his best wins.

Since Nadal made his French Open debut in 2005, only two men have stopped him before this year in his beloved tournament. Robin Soderling was the first in 2009, and Novak Djokovic is the other. In fact, the Serbian is the only man to do it on two occasions (2015 and 2021).

Zverev has since joined that exclusive club after defeating the 14-time record champion Nadal in straight sets in the biggest opening match of a Grand Slam that you can possibly recall.

To underpin the magnitude of the marquee match, the likes of Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, and Iga Swiatek stamped their ticket for the day to watch it inside Court Philippe-Chatrier.

For Zverev, it meant more than just another win. The German addressed the crowd after backing up that success following his second-round win over David Goffin. Here, he stated that the victory was so huge on the weighing scales that he equated it to the feeling of winning the tournament.

"So after I beat him I felt that I had already won the tournament, but in the end it is only a first round. You have to focus for another two weeks entirely and I am happy I had another two days off as I had to compose myself emotionally. I had to ground myself and get back to work and get back to playing good tennis. I am extremely happy with the level today and hopefully I continue playing like this."

With such overpowering emotions, Zverev was not lost in the moment and acknowledged it was only one match and still had a long way to go in the tournament, which, in this case, is very true.

Two of the three times Nadal lost before at Roland Garros, his opponents did not win the tournament, so this explains why the fourth-seeded Zverev is taking one match at a time.


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