Can a strong rival like Zverev reboot Nadal's game at the French Open?

Friday, 24 May 2024 at 12:04
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Former world number two Alex Corretja believes that facing a strong opponent like Germany’s Alexander Zverev in the opening round of the French Open will help Spain’s legendary tennis star Rafael Nadal.
The second Grand Slam of the year will be played from May 26 to June 09 in Paris, the capital of France. Players from all over the world will showcase their talent and fight for the ultimate prize.
This year’s French Open will be a special event as it will feature the 22-time Grand Slam winners for the last time. Nadal has struggled with injuries in recent years, and it was because of this that he announced last year that the 2024 season would be his last at the highest level.
The 14-time champion at Roland Garros has received a tough draw. He is set to face the current world number four, Zverev, who is coming into the competition after winning the Rome Open, where he defeated Chile’s Nicolas Jarry in the final with a score of 6-4, 7-5.
Former French Open finalist Corretja was recently quoted in a report where he stated that the competition will be watched by millions of fans sitting at home. He further stated that facing a tough opponent can help Nadal as well.
“This is absolutely stunning. It’s crazy and unbelievable how precious destiny can be,” he said. “We know what happened last time they played each other at Roland-Garros.
Rafael Nadal remains the most successful player in the competition's history, having won it 14 times. 
“Now Zverev is probably the guy who is in the best shape on the men’s Tour right now and is probably one of the favourites to win the tournament. Facing Rafa, it’s unbelievable, the attention of the whole world will be on this.
“Even if it’s still one of the toughest opponents Rafa can face in the first round, he can just relieve this pressure straight away.
“He doesn’t need to think about his performance or shape beforehand. Whoever he drew was going to be a tough match in a best of five with all the attention on him right.
“If he wins, it’s unbelievable. If not, it’s just normal as Zverev is in great shape as I said. It’s huge attention for the tournament.”

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