Saturday 21 January 2017

Rafael Nadal Praises Alexander Zverev After Australian Open Match

Australian Open

The Spaniard praised the talented 19-year-old, who is considered a multiple major winner of the future, as he defied doubts about both his fitness and form during a four-hour contest on Rod Laver Arena on Saturday.

Asked how he won, Nadal said: "By fighting. And by running a lot. I think everybody knows how good Alexander now is.

"He is the future of our sport and the present too. It was a tough match for me, I was not playing my best and not feeling well because I was losing too much court.

"Then I changed the dynamic in the third, I was feeling better and I had more time to control the points from the baseline.

"After losing the tie-break I said, 'I need to fight for every point. Forget the result'. And that's what I did."

Australian Open

The victory will do wonders for Nadal's self-belief after fighting his way back from an injury-plagued 2016.

Nadal added: "Mentally I have been very positive during the whole match. In terms of physical performance I felt great, ready to run for every ball.

"In terms of the level of tennis, I think I finished the match playing much better than what I started the match. That's a very important thing."

Zverev came into the match having won four out of his last five meetings against top-10 players, although he is yet to do so at a Grand Slam.

However, the world No 24 believes he is closing in on the elite.

Australian Open

"I am close. I kind of showed it a few times last year, and this now," Zverev said.

"Even now I'm disappointed but I know that this was a great match. That was a great fight. There's a lot of positives in this match.

"I think he's probably one of the fittest tennis players in the history of the game.

"Obviously I wanted to win. I could have won. It's disappointing. But I'm fine actually."



Etiam at libero iaculis, mollis justo non, blandit augue. Vestibulum sit amet sodales est, a lacinia ex. Suspendisse vel enim sagittis, volutpat sem eget, condimentum sem.