Zverev is the only one who can beat Nadal at Roland Garros

Hitman

G.O.A.T.
Read the OP, he writes everything correctly. Even before that Zverev was troubling Nadal a lot, including in a slam meeting in AO 2017. This is truly a nightmare matchup.
Zverev has shown mental strength with that epic USO final choke, two sets up and even served for it and still lost, and it was not like his opponent was playing great either. You think Zverev would not blink if he comes close to a historical feat in beating Rafa at RG, and being only one of three men to do it? I can see double fault city if he approached the finish line.
 

RoS

Rookie
There is no such thing as "match-up". Zverev has defeated Nadal in the last 3 meetings because 2 of them were on indoor hard (Nadal's worst condition) and the other one in Madrid (Nadal's worst clay toournament).

The last time Zverev faced Nadal in favorable conditions for the Spaniard (outdoor slow clay with big court dimensions), Nadal destroyed him.

It was 2018 Nadal, which was much better. 2018 Nadal is underrated, he was also strong as 2017. We are talking about 35 years old 2021 Nadal...

And Zverev nearly beat Nadal in Rome 2018. He has figured how to play Nadal. If Zverev hangs with Nadal, engage him in a war of attrition and brings him to a fifth set, everything is possible. We have seen against Stefanos in Melbourne that Nadal cannot outlast physically his opponents anymore. He was totally spent at the end of the match. Already in the 2019 USO Final, he barely beat Medvedev. If the russian came back to 5-5, Nadal would have lost. He was on his last legs...
 
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StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
Zverev has shown mental strength with that epic USO final choke, two sets up and even served for it and still lost, and it was not like his opponent was playing great either. You think Zverev would not blink if he comes close to a historical feat in beating Rafa at RG, and being only one of three men to do it? I can see double fault city if he approached the finish line.
OP wrote about that as well. It doesn't matter how Zverev plays against others. He lost to Ivashka last week after failing to serve for the match. But when he met Nadal today he served it out without any problems. He just always plays his absolute best against Nadal.

So looking at the match against Thiem (who is a tougher matchup for him) makes no sense.
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
It's was 2018 Nadal, which was much better. 2018 Nadal is underrated, he was also strong as 2017. We are talking about 35 years old 2021 Nadal.

And Zverev nearly beat Nadal in Rome 2018. He has figured how to play Nadal.
Can't believe I even miss 2018 Nadal these days. :(
 

Druss

Hall of Fame
The OHBH is objectively superior in all meaningful ways to the two handed. Your reasoning is flawed.

Nadal doesn't win by exploiting technical weakness. He wins because his deal with the ATP means he is guaranteed to be objectively greater in endurance than anyone else can be, until such time as a new chosen one emerges and gets the same freedom from monitoring.
How is it flawed? Give me Safin’s, Djoker’s or Agassi’s BH over Wawa’s, Gasquet‘s or Fedr’s any day. And don‘t get me wrong, as I love the 1H-BH, especially that of the aforementioned...but we’re not talking about being aesthetically more pleasing here.
 

Druss

Hall of Fame
Can’t believe what I’m reading...Nadal loses an insignificant match, and this place including his fans go on as though he’s going to lose RG. How many times has this happened (where is that Jerzy Janovic clip “how many times” when you need it) were he loses the odd FO tune-up event, then blasts everyone on PC court.
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
Can’t believe what I’m reading...Nadal loses an insignificant match, and this place including his fans go on as though he’s going to lose RG. How many times has this happened (where is that Jerzy Janovic clip “how many times” when you need it) were he loses the odd FO tune-up event, then blasts everyone on PC court.
Call me when he wins at least one set against Zverev on any surface. He can't do it for 3 years now. So stop writing about "insignificant" matches.
 

tsurismo5

Semi-Pro
Zverev also challenged nadal bo3 at rome 2018.

Look at their sole clay bo5 match at Davis cup 2018 - zverev had nothing for nadal. Obviously 2021 nadal vs zverev would be more of a grind so nadal on a cool off day at rg might be in a little trouble but doubt he’ll lose otherwise.
 

Krish0608

Legend
There is no such thing as "match-up". Zverev has defeated Nadal in the last 3 meetings because 2 of them were on indoor hard (Nadal's worst condition) and the other one in Madrid (Nadal's worst clay toournament).

The last time Zverev faced Nadal in favorable conditions for the Spaniard (outdoor slow clay with big court dimensions), Nadal destroyed him.

That is probably one of the worst hot takes you can take when it comes to tennis lol. Tennis is all about matchups. That’s what makes the sport so interesting.
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
That is probably one of the worst hot takes you can take when it comes to tennis lol. Tennis is all about matchups. That’s what makes the sport so interesting.
Interesting post from a person who TOTALLY ignores the obvious fact that Zverev owns the matchup against Nadal.
 

Krish0608

Legend
Interesting post from a person who TOTALLY ignores the obvious fact that Zverev owns the matchup against Nadal.
Matchups matter, but nothing matters against Rafa at RG. Djokovic matches up well against Rafa, but we all saw what happened last year.
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
Matchups matter, but nothing matters against Rafa at RG. Djokovic matches up well against Rafa, but we all saw what happened last year.
Right now Zverev is maybe even a tougher matchup than Djokovic. Even on clay Nadal can't win a set. I don't see why anything should change in RG. When Nadal was playing well he dominated in all clay tournaments. Now he is on a heavy decline, and is being totally owned by young players.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Right now Zverev is maybe even a tougher matchup than Djokovic. Even on clay Nadal can't win a set. I don't see why anything should change in RG. When Nadal was playing well he dominated in all clay tournaments. Now he is on a heavy decline, and is being totally owned by young players.
Naturally :p
 

Tennisfan339

Semi-Pro
I regret Zverev lost to Sinner in 1/8 last year. He clearly has the game to beat or at least challenge Nadal on clay, today proved it if there was any doubt. He almost did it in Rome 2018 (until the rain stopped him). A 1/4 between them would have been more than interesting last year. I hope they're in the same 1/4 this year again.

I think Rublev will also be a threat to Nadal if he meets him in 1/4.

If Nadal is seeded 3. Djokovic will also be a more dangerous threat in a semifinal.

No matter what happens Nadal is still favorite for RG thoough. But among the players who have a chance to beat him, Zverev is most certainly at the top of the list.
 

WhiskeyEE

G.O.A.T.
Matchups matter, but nothing matters against Rafa at RG. Djokovic matches up well against Rafa, but we all saw what happened last year.
Novak has no ability to end points on clay. He doesn't match up well with post-2017 Nadal on clay at all. He matched up better with pre-2017 Nadal who refused to hit his backhand and played more defensively.
 

NoleFam

Talk Tennis Guru
Yeah, keep making wrong predictions. You know Djokovic is a lock for RG this year, just as for the other slams, but you keep acting like it isn't the case.
Here we go again with this bs. How is Djokovic a lock for RG when everybody and their mama can see he has declined on clay and is not the force he once was, not like RG was ever his best tournament. A number of players could beat him at RG if we are going by his recent form on clay. Djokovic's game is suited for faster surfaces now, not clay.
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
Here we go again with this bs. How is Djokovic a lock for RG when everybody and their mama can see he has declined on clay and is not the force he once was, not like RG was ever his best tournament. A number of players could beat him at RG if we are going by his recent form on clay. Djokovic's game is suited for faster surfaces now, not clay.
So declined on clay that he won Madrid 2019, Rome 2020 and reached RG final last year. Also, young players have absolutely no idea how to play him in BO5. I don't care if Tsitsipas can win 2 sets against him if he loses the other sets 6-3 6-2 6-1 like a total mug. I'll not believe for a moment any of them can win 3 sets against Djokovic. Given that Nadal is now close to his 2015 form, yes, Djokovic looks like a lock.
 

skypadq

Hall of Fame
So declined on clay that he won Madrid 2019, Rome 2020 and reached RG final last year. Also, young players have absolutely no idea how to play him in BO5. I don't care if Tsitsipas can win 2 sets against him if he loses the other sets 6-3 6-2 6-1 like a total mug. I'll not believe for a moment any of them can win 3 sets against Djokovic. Given that Nadal is now close to his 2015 form, yes, Djokovic looks like a lock.
why you're not answering my qustion , thiem can beat djokoivc in RG , didn 't he 2017 and 2019 RG ?
 

NoleFam

Talk Tennis Guru
So declined on clay that he won Madrid 2019, Rome 2020 and reached RG final last year. Also. young players have absolutely no idea how to play him in BO5. I don't care if Tsitsipas can win 2 sets against him if he loses the other sets 6-3 6-2 6-1 like a total mug. I'll not believe for a moment any of them can win 3 sets against Djokovic. Given that Nadal is now close to his 2015 form, yes, Djokovic looks like a lock.
Madrid 2019 was 2 years ago dude. We're in 2021, at least the rest of us. Yea he looked good in RG 2020 and then had nothing left for the final. I can think of at least 4 players that could beat Djokovic at RG based on what I have seen of him this clay season. Your reverse jinxing is so freaking annoying and comical at this point if you believe the bs you write.
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
why you're not answering my qustion , thiem can beat djokoivc in RG , didn 't he 2017 and 2019 RG ?
2017 doesn't tell us anything, Djokovic was terrible in that match. In 2019 Thiem won, but he was choking like crazy in the last 3 sets. It's a miracle he managed to win 2 of them given that. Do you trust him to win 3 sets against Djokovic again? For sure I don't. He maybe has the best chance, but it doesn't tell much.
 

Ray Mercer

Hall of Fame
Always different at RG. On PC Nadal can stand 30 feet back and make serving irrelevant to the match. Zverev can't hit short wide serves on both sides consistently enough. Zverev basically needs to outdo him from the baseline on the slowest court for 3 hours to win which is damn near impossible.
 
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skypadq

Hall of Fame
2017 doesn't tell us anything, Djokovic was terrible in that match. In 2019 Thiem won, but he was choking like crazy in the last 3 sets. It's a miracle he managed to win 2 of them given that. Do you trust him to win 3 sets against Djokovic again? For sure I don't. He maybe has the best chance, but it doesn't tell much.
2020 AO final , thiem almost beat novak djokovic
do you know that ?
and why you're kept saying djokovic is lock for RG ??
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
Madrid 2019 was 2 years ago dude. We're in 2021, at least the rest of us. Yea he looked good in RG 2020 and then had nothing left for the final. I can think of at least 4 players that could beat Djokovic at RG based on what I have seen of him this clay season. Your reverse jinxing is so freaking annoying and comical at this point if you believe the bs you write.
As if Nadal was any better in this clay season. Call me when he finally wins at least one set against Zverev, on any surface. Nadal looks done. Djokovic on the other hand is for sure not done, as he already won a slam this year. Who cares about him losing in MC or Belgrade after that? In BO5 nobody can beat Djokovic in the current tour, this is what matters.

I doubt anyone even has the stamina to beat him in BO5. Watching Tsitsipas lose 6-1 in the fifth set last year was pathetic. He is 11 years younger than Djokovic and he got tired!
 

skypadq

Hall of Fame
As if Nadal was any better in this clay season. Call me when he finally wins at least one set against Zverev, on any surface. Nadal looks done. Djokovic on the other hand is for sure not done, as he already won a slam this year. Who cares about him losing in MC or Belgrade after that? In BO5 nobody can beat Djokovic in the current tour, this is what matters.
strongrule , so you think wimbledon is lock for novak djokovic also ?
who will be novak 's biggest threat ? roger federer ?
 

NoleFam

Talk Tennis Guru
As if Nadal was any better in this clay season. Call me when he finally wins at least one set against Zverev, on any surface. Nadal looks done. Djokovic on the other hand is for sure not done, as he already won a slam this year. Who cares about him losing in MC or Belgrade after that? In BO5 nobody can beat Djokovic in the current tour, this is what matters.
Ok.
 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
That is probably one of the worst hot takes you can take when it comes to tennis lol. Tennis is all about matchups. That’s what makes the sport so interesting.
Matchup dynamics change according to surface. Surfaces preferences > matchup dynamics. Zverev is NOT the favorite against Nadal at RG, whereas I would favor Zverev over Nadal both at the AO and WB, and roughly 50-50 at the USO.
 

RoS

Rookie
Don't write off Novak. He is still one of the men to beat in Bo5. Remember everyone said Medvedev was going to beat Djokovic in Melbourne, that it was the handover, that Medvedev figured Djokovic. And Djokovic easily handled him like a third-rate Murray without breaking a sweat.
Zverev can exhaust Nadal in a QF and Djokovic can finish him in the SF. I don't think Nadal can recover a long and hard match anymore.

If Zverev serve really well and expose Nadal return court positionning from Sri Lanka, it will be a long day for the Spaniard.

Sinner outplayed Nadal in the first set of the FO QF 2020, and what Sinner did Zverev can do it better and longer. He serve and defend BETTER than Sinner, and find better angles with his top class backhand.
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
Yes, somehow Zverev always brings his best against Nadal. He can be a total mug against others, but against Nadal he somehow always serves perfectly.
And against Federer. Zverev also isn't the classic choker. He implodes from time to time, but contrary to "classic" chokes this doesn't have much to do with not being able to handle a big match occasion. It can happen against anyone, and on another day he can serve home a match against a Big 3 player as if he was Sampras.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
And against Federer. Zverev also isn't the classic choker. He implodes from time to time, but contrary to "classic" chokes this doesn't have much to do with not being able to handle a big match occasion. It can happen against anyone, and on another day he can serve home a match against a Big 3 player as if he was Sampras.
Against Fed it's expected considering he is 16 years younger than the Swiss LOL.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Let Zverev prove himself at RG for a change since he's suffered some pretty nasty and bad defeats.

Old Verdasco in 1R in 2017
Demolitions at the hands of Thiem and Novak in 2018 and 2019
Loss to teenage Sinner in 2020.
 

RoS

Rookie
Let Zverev prove himself at RG for a change since he's suffered some pretty nasty and bad defeats.

Old Verdasco in 1R in 2017
Demolitions at the hands of Thiem and Novak in 2018 and 2019
Loss to teenage Sinner in 2020.
Zverev has become rather consistent in GS recently. I'am sure he can make it to QF at last...
 
So much pressure on Nadal this year to win the FO because of the slam race. That, and the fact he has not been playing that great all year. I'm taking the field this year.
 

Beckerserve

Legend
The OHBH is objectively superior in all meaningful ways to the two handed. Your reasoning is flawed.

Nadal doesn't win by exploiting technical weakness. He wins because his deal with the ATP means he is guaranteed to be objectively greater in endurance than anyone else can be, until such time as a new chosen one emerges and gets the same freedom from monitoring.
Ban this person for being libellous and risking the entire site.
 

Beckerserve

Legend
It'll be like this basically:


:X3:
The lack of knowledge of some on this thread is embarrassing. Conditions in Madrid are totally different to RG and big servers do much better in Madrid.
Zverev on clay at altitude is very tough for anyone if he plays well. On PC Diego is a bigger threat to Nadal by a country mile. In fact Diego would handle Zverev easily at FO. Over 5 sets at sea level the Zverev 2nd serve will get destroyed by any top 10 player.
My concern for Rafa is his serve and on current form the likes of Djokovic Diego and Goffin if they are playing well would cause him trouble.
But that is the point. Current form with 19 days to go is irrelevant. Whoever is peaking now has peaked too early.
I also got impression Nadal did not ahow Zverev his full hand. He did not hit to zverev FH or slice the ball anywhere bear as much as he will at a slam.
Being honest ive had the feeling for a while Nadal and Djokovic are playing cat and mouse and not revealing their A game.
I expect them to destroy the field and meet in the final.
 
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