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

BauerAlmeida

Professional
Zverev, Tsitsipas, Thiem, Djokovic, Karatsev and Rublev can beat him. Maaaaaaaybe Sinner, if everything is going his way.


None of them will, though. Next year maybe.

If I have to pick a dark horse it's Shapovalov.
 

bjsnider

Hall of Fame
Tsitsipas can do it, and of all of the contenders, he'll win multiple RG tournaments, possibly starting this year, possibly not.
 
Zed couldn't even properly capitalize on an open year of free titles

He has no chance of beating Ned on the dirt.

The good news is that no one cares about what happens at RG
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
Let’s see what happens in Rome before we make RG predictions. What happens if Rafa wins Rome and beats Zverev on the way? However, if Zverev beats Rafa in Rome to be on a 4-0 H-H streak with two wins on clay this year, it will weigh heavily on Nadal mentally at tight moments if they play at the FO.

Even if they don’t meet in Rome, Zverev might feel confident going into a RG matchup as he has to be playing well to be in the semifinal or quarterfinal and a 3-0 H-H winning streak is good to have. He is a big server with a big baseline game and if he doesn’t have 2nd serve issues, he has the game that translates best on all surfaces amongst the young guys. But, I bet he will have 2nd serve yips in big moments late in a long match against Nadal and that might allow Nadal to squeak out a tight win.
 

tennisjedi

Hall of Fame
If it's before a slam final, then Zed can beat Rafa.

If they meet in the final, Zed will find a way to lose the match. After that USO chokefest, I don't trust Zed in a slam final.
 

RF-18

Talk Tennis Guru
Me and @ADuck were the only users who gave a correct prediction, and I'm writing BS? If you don't like reading the truth then you can add me to the ignore list. I guess truth hurts so much that some people prefer to ignore it.
Your few correct predictions out of 100 predictions. But you are right, Zverev totally owns Nadal these last few years.
 

aorgwimbus

New User
I always thought he would have been really challenging for Nadal last year under those conditions ( night match nearly started at 11 pm) if he reached QFs. It was not meant to happen as he was coming from a slam final that he only played 2 weeks ago. He must have been taxed both mentally and physically, same applies to Thiem as well.
 

Nole_King

Professional
Djokovic can't defeat Nadal at RG anymore. Nadal destroyed him in the last RG final and Djokovic lost to nobodies on clay such as Evans and Karatsev for starters.
Absolutely. Not sure how some of Nole fans can't see it. Infact I dont think Nole is reaching Nadal at FO anymore.
 

weakera

G.O.A.T.
Nadal was serving for 5-2 and was broken and then missed a FH DTL on a break chance for 5-3. Don't count on those things happening at Roland Garros. It wasn't a great win for Zverev and Nadal was not near his best.
 

weakera

G.O.A.T.
I just saw the highlights. Nadal didn't seem to play good. I'd have given Zverev more chances for the RG upset if he had beaten a well playing Nadal. Tsitsipas almost did at Barcelona.
Exactly. Tsitsipas is a worse matchup for Rafa in RG conditions, easily. Tsitsipas on any slow surface where his weak ros is protected is far more dangerous than Zverev.
 

SonnyT

Hall of Fame
Flatter to deceive, is there such an expression in German and Russian?

After Zverev wins a big tournament, he thinks his job is done for the next 3 months!
 

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
I know Zod beat Tim the other day, but I can't see him even repeating that at RG. The mental scars must still be there from USO. Forget about beating Nadal.
 

Rosstour

Hall of Fame
Zverev the type of guy to grind Nadal down for 5 hours and then mentally implode in the 5th set.
I know that Masters events aren't Slams, but Z has a recent memory of taking Nadal out on clay. That's gonna be in both players' heads and now he's been there before. Making it less likely that he just all of a sudden wakes up, realizes he has Rafa on the ropes on clay, and folds.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
Zverev at Roland Garros
  1. 4TH round
  2. QF
  3. QF
  4. 1ST round
We kinda know Nadal's records. I think he is one of several players that might tear one off against Nadal to knock him out, but odds are still on Raf.
 

matmoran

New User
I believe that more than just zverev can have a chance of beating Nadal at RG(although the chances are very slim) if you look at someone like Thiem... 3/4 most recent matches he has won. You are right that zverev also has a good chance but he is not the only one!
 

NADALalot

Hall of Fame
2020 Rome = Schwartzman def. Nadal 62 75
2020 Roland Garros = Nadal def. Schwartzman 63 63 76(0)

2019 Barcelona = Thiem def. Nadal 64 64
2019 Roland Garros = Nadal def. Thiem 63 57 61 61

2018 Madrid = Thiem def. Nadal 75 63
2018 Roland Garros = Nadal def. Thiem 64 63 62

2017 Rome = Thiem def. Nadal 64 63
2017 Roland Garros = Nadal def. Thiem 63 64 60
 

JustBob

Hall of Fame
Folks seem to take "Rafa stamina on BO 5" for granted. At the end of a recent match he lost to Rublev, it was Rafa gasping with hands on his knees after grueling rallies, not Rublev.
 

RoS

Rookie
Folks seem to take "Rafa stamina on BO 5" for granted. At the end of a recent match he lost to Rublev, it was Rafa gasping with hands on his knees after grueling rallies, not Rublev.
This. Nadal is the ultimate challenge on PC and you have to be very strong but people think that the Spaniard is an alien or a Terminator T-800. He is human, and the Father Time don't spare anyone.
 

beltsman

Legend
It's a fact, Zverev has always been a nightmarish match-up for Nadal. Big serve who give him plenty of free points. His height allow him to handle Nadal's topspin better than anyone, his backhand is Djokovic like. He moves very well. He is in Nadal's head now. He knows how to play him. He bring always his peak tennis against him, no matter how he fares against the others (he lost to Ivashka in Munich)
He just won the last 3 matchs against Nadal, the first on clay and don't forget that Zverev had a match point against him in Indian Wells 2016 (but choked), was leading 2-1 in sets in AO 2017, was a break up in Rome 2018. He could have 6-2 in their H2H.

I really think if Zverev summons his Madrid form that he will be the 2021 Soderling. Maybe Sinner made the hard work for Rafa in the last FO by removing Zverev.

No the others :

Karatsev is too inconsistant

Djokovic is done challenging Nadal on clay. Sadly 2011 Djokovic is no more

Thiem and Tsitsipas with their OHB on Bo5 ? No way

Rublev will not have the stamina on Bo5
The real Prince of Clay?
 

puppybutts

Rookie
It's a fact, Zverev has always been a nightmarish match-up for Nadal. Big serve who give him plenty of free points. His height allow him to handle Nadal's topspin better than anyone, his backhand is Djokovic like. He moves very well. He is in Nadal's head now. He knows how to play him. He bring always his peak tennis against him, no matter how he fares against the others (he lost to Ivashka in Munich)
He just won the last 3 matchs against Nadal, the first on clay and don't forget that Zverev had a match point against him in Indian Wells 2016 (but choked), was leading 2-1 in sets in AO 2017, was a break up in Rome 2018. He could have 6-2 in their H2H.

I really think if Zverev summons his Madrid form that he will be the 2021 Soderling. Maybe Sinner made the hard work for Rafa in the last FO by removing Zverev.

No the others :

Karatsev is too inconsistant

Djokovic is done challenging Nadal on clay. Sadly 2011 Djokovic is no more

Thiem and Tsitsipas with their OHB on Bo5 ? No way

Rublev will not have the stamina on Bo5
to be honest, i think anyone can beat nadal this year, even on clay. it just depends on how his body is feeling. he openly shared about taking painkillers or injections or something for his back pain, you can't go on for long doing that regularly. rooting for him but won't be surprised if he is upset before the semis
 

duaneeo

Legend
It seems that all players who've faced Nadal at Roland Garros became shell-shocked afterwards. When they faced him again at RG, they had flashbacks as they walked on the court. The match was lost before the first point.

Zverev has never faced Nadal at RG, so he won't have this mental block. And, with the 3-consecutive-win streak (as well as the memory of how well he competed against Nadal at their lone slam meeting), he'd probably be more confident facing Rafa at RG than anyone else.
 

SonnyT

Hall of Fame
If Zverev beats Nadal in Rome tomorrow, his head and the expectations will get too big, he'll have no chance at RG.

If Zverev loses to Nadal in Rome tomorrow, his confidence will be so shot, he'll have no chance at RG.
 
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