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French Open: Nadal’s “little hope” before tennis duel with Zverev

French Open: Nadal’s “little hope” before tennis duel with Zverev

Record champion Rafael Nadal is only an outsider in the French Open opening match against Alexander Zverev. The Spaniard is taking the tough draw pragmatically and is also feeling better again.

Record champion Rafael Nadal has shown himself to be combative ahead of his eagerly awaited opening match at the French Open against German tennis star Alexander Zverev. “If I didn’t have the hope in my heart of being successful here, I wouldn’t be here now,” said the 37-year-old Spaniard at a press conference in Paris: “I still have the motivation and at least a little hope of playing well.”

Nadal and Olympic champion Zverev (27) will meet on Monday in the first round of the second Grand Slam tournament of the year. Given the mixed performances of the injury-plagued clay court king since his comeback in mid-April, the in-form Zverev goes into the duel as the favorite.

“On paper, it’s not the best draw. I’m fighting against one of the best players, he came to win the tournament,” said Nadal. “I’ve accepted it. What can I do? I can only try to be ready.” After many injuries, the 14-time tournament winner is not seeded this year.

Incredible match record

For Nadal, who has a match record of 112-3 wins at Stade Roland Garros, his most likely last French Open appearance could be the earliest possible exit. There is a “very, very big chance that it will be my last time at Roland Garros,” said Nadal, but he does not want to “100 percent close the door.” Nadal is currently planning to end his illustrious career at the end of the season.

The good week of training in Roland Garros has increased his confidence for the match against Zverev, revealed Nadal: “Physically I feel better, I have improved in various things.” He also appreciates the “great support of the people, that gives me a lot of power”.

Source: Stern

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