"Sometimes people forget he has a lot of talent," Medvedev praises Nadal after practice set

Friday, 24 May 2024 at 22:30
Daniil Medvedev has expressed relief at not facing Rafael Nadal in the first round of Roland Garros after practicing with him. The Russian tennis player warned Alexander Zverev that the Spaniard is in good form for the French Open and that it won't be easy for the German.
The 2021 US Open champion recently played a practice set against the 22-time Grand Slam champion, which Nadal won 6-3.

“I’m happy it’s not me playing against him first round,” said Medvedev

Medvedev dropped to world No. 5 following Zverev's title win at the Rome Open, is in the same half of the draw, with a potential quarterfinal clash. The Russian could have taken the German's position as the 4th seed had it been predicted a week earlier.
"I'm not shy to say I'm happy it's not me playing against him first round," Medvedev admitted after the practice set with Nadal at Roland Garros. "There's a lot of hard work, a lot of mental effort. Sometimes people forget he has a lot of talent in his hands also," said the Russian.
Medvedev detailed that Nadal showed good form during practice, and the 14-time French Open champion's talent and hard work remain intact: "We were warming up serves and then he did three in a row, volley, dropshots, banana ones, with backspin, and it was funny. We were saying, 'Yeah, no talent, just hard work!' It's tough to play Rafa," added Medvedev.
rafael nadal rg 2020 1
Nadal won 112 matches and 14 titles in Roland Garros, while only losing 3 times.
"He has the capability to spin the ball not like other players, get these high balls especially on clay, is not easy," Medvedev commented. "Then we go to where he fights for every point, he brings intensity to every point. You know you're going to be tired, you know it's going to be tough. It's not easy."
The match between Nadal and Zverev is scheduled for Monday in the tournament's opening round, giving the winner two days of rest before the second round.
Nadal leads their head-to-head 7-3, with their last encounter also at the French Open, back in the 2022 semifinals. In a tight match, Nadal won the first set 7-5, and the second went to a tie-break, but Zverev suffered an ankle injury and left the court on crutches while having one of the best performances of his career, truly challenging the multiple Roland Garros champion.

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