Alexander Zverev ‘has the perfect game’ to face Rafael Nadal, says Mats Wilander ahead of French Open semis


Alexander Zverev’s match matches Rafael Nadal “perfectly”, Mats Wilander said ahead of the French Open semi-final.

While Wilander admits that doesn’t necessarily mean Zverev will beat the Spaniard, the Eurosport pundit thinks it at least gives the German every chance to cause a huge upset on the Philippe-Chatrier court on Friday.

Zverev heads to the last four after one of his best major wins over Carlos Alcaraz, while Nadal picked up an equally important victory over Novak Djokovic.


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As such, and with the pair looking so comfortable with their respective games, this could be one of the tournament matches.

Wilander said on Eurosport: “His [Zverev’s] the first serve is perhaps the biggest first serve in the men’s game right now.

“It’s absolutely huge. If he has a high percentage, he will get free points.

“The high backhand reminds me so much of Robin Soderling, who obviously beat Rafa in 2009.

“We always talk about Zverev’s weakness at the baseline, forehand down the line, but he doesn’t need to hit a forehand down the line against Rafa because he can hit the crosscourt with a lot of topspin and prepare him for his backhand. .

“I think he has the perfect match to play against Rafa.

“Can he beat him? I believe he believes he can.”

Chris Evert is another Eurosport pundit to hail Zverev’s progress through a diabolical half of the draw, but she failed to make him favorite against the ‘King of Clay’.

She said: “I can’t believe this side of the draw, how loaded it is with one great player after another.

“Zverev has been very independent, his attitude, his professionalism have been excellent this tournament, his concentration has been excellent.

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“Rafa – how is he going to come here? He’s been in so many important and grueling games – how does his body feel? How does he feel emotionally? That’s going to be another factor but I think we going to have another four, five set match with these two and I think we’re going to see their best tennis.

“I’m leaning towards Rafa [to win]. He’s gone too far, he’s had too many jaw-dropping matches, he’s been able to come back from big wins and sustain that momentum for seven matches in a row better than anyone.

“I’m looking at him to win the tournament now.”

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