Tennis: “Never bet against Nadal”: Becker raves

Tennis: “Never bet against Nadal”: Becker raves

Rafael Nadal against Alexander Zverev – the tennis world is looking forward to this opening match at the French Open. Boris Becker is singing the record champion’s praises ahead of the draw.

According to tennis icon Boris Becker, Rafael Nadal’s aura could be Alexander Zverev’s biggest problem in the highly anticipated first-round match at the French Open. “When you go to Center Court and play against Rafa and the referee says, ‘here comes the 14-time winner,’ you get smaller – and Rafa gets bigger. Believe me: nobody wants to play against Rafa on the Philippe Chatrier. Nobody,” said the six-time Grand Slam tournament winner at a Eurosport press conference before the draw.

The draw gave world number four Zverev (27) the equally attractive and challenging task of competing against record champion Nadal (37) in the first round. In sporting terms, the winner of the Rome Masters tournament has performed significantly better this clay court season than the Spaniard Nadal, who is not seeded in the second Grand Slam tournament of the year due to many injuries.

But Becker himself would “never bet against Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros.” “He goes through the gate, plays on the Philippe Chatrier – and something happens to him and his opponents,” said the 56-year-old: “I think that could be the case this year too.”

Viewers a plus for Nadal

Especially since Nadal probably came to the French Open for more than just a farewell at what will probably be his last appearance, says Becker: “If he didn’t believe deep down in his soul that he could win the French Open again, he wouldn’t be competing.” The audience is also a big plus for Nadal, says Becker: “Rafa and Roland Garros – that’s the greatest love story in tennis.”

It is also Zverev’s favorite tournament and clay is his favorite surface. Becker believes that the Olympic champion has reached his top form again two years after his serious foot injury in the French Open semi-finals, especially against Nadal. “I think he is back at the point where he can go all the way to the top,” said Becker. “There is no one top favorite this year, which makes Sascha’s chances all the better.”

Source: Stern

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