'Now Starts A Different Tournament': Zverev After Eliminating 14-Time Champion Nadal

'Now Starts A Different Tournament': Zverev After Eliminating 14-Time Champion Nadal

by Zachary Wimer

Alexander Zverev handed Rafael Nadal his first-ever round-one loss at Roland Garros, and he rated the win quite highly.

The German was heavily favored in the match because all the signs were pointing towards him winning. The Spanish legend actually played better than anticipated, as he had plenty of chances to make the match more complicated, but in the end, Zverev won in straight sets.

After the match, he admitted that it was one of his best wins in his career because of everything that went into it. It's only Nadal's fourth loss on the clay courts in Paris in 116 matches, which paints a clear picture of how rare something like this is. It doesn't top the Olympics win over Novak Djokovic, but it's up there for Zverev.

"I think that the match against Novak at the Olympics is still up there. I think beating Federer and Djokovic back to back at the World Tour Finals is up there. But I think this is definitely one of the most special matches just atmosphere-wise and just occasion-wise."

He wouldn't call it the most significant win of his career because others resulted in bigger achievements. As he said, the win over Djokovic basically pushed him to the gold medal in Tokyo three years ago, a medal he'll defend on these very courts fairly soon.

If he goes all the way and wins the tournament, then Zverev admitted it could be his most significant win.

"Most significant? Look, I think if I end up winning the tournament, then maybe we could say yes or no. I feel good on the court. I’m not going to lie. It is a place that I like to be at. For sure, two years ago the level of tennis was also extremely high when we played, but I do feel quite good."

He also admitted that for him, the event started now because his focus was so much on this specific match. Now he can finally get into that tournament mode.

"But again, I think we have to look further and look how I’m going to do at this tournament. I do feel like now starts a different tournament. I was preparing for that match, and I think everybody was preparing for that match since the draw came out as it was the final."


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