Rafael Nadal fought through a rigorous five sets against kid prodigy Alexander Zverev to advance to the fourth round.
Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev dueled it out in hundred degree weather. In the end, it was Rafael Nadal who came out the victor.
Zverev started off solid with a quick break and a hold to his serve. Rafa fought back, using his topspin to force the German back. However, Zverev kept his ground by taking Rafa’s shots earlier and attacking at the right times. Because of this, Zverev closed the first set 6-4.
Rafa began to play his game with an early 4-1 lead. Though the Spaniard began to dictate the shots and move the kid prodigy around, Zverev began to show phenomenal defense, even defending against a few overheads of Rafa. However, even though his defense was superb, his consistency lacked a little, letting Rafa close the set 6-3.
Both players held their ground, not giving up any games. This eventually led to a tiebreaker between the two. Even in the tiebreak, both Rafa and Zverev didn’t back down. The points went back in forth, with both players fighting for each point that they could get. However, due to his aggressive attacks and play-style, Zverev came out on top, sealing the tiebreaker 7-5 with a cross-court backhand that Rafa could not return.
With Zverev only needing a set to win, Nadal stepped up his game. He broke early and held serve by outlasting Zverev in rallies and pulling him from side-to-side with his heavy topspin. Because of this, Nadal ended up having a 4-1 lead before Alexander put another game on the board. Ultimately, Rafa tied the sets 2-2 by closing the fourth set 6-3.
With the sets tied at 2-2 and this set being the decider, both players knew what had to be done in order to win. Zverev started off with serve. However, Nadal was quick to break again, giving him a 2-0 lead. In return, Zverev broke back and tied it to 2-2. But those were the only two games that Alexander Zverev won. From there, it was a one-sided set for Rafa Nadal who ended up winning the fifth set 6-2 and closing the four hour long match.
Both players played phenomenal tennis. Alexander Zverev, who is only nineteen, fought hard against Rafael Nadal, pulling off shots that had the crowd going crazy. However, Rafa is a veteran on the court and though Zverev is no stranger to grand slams, Rafa has had more experience on the court. He also outlasted Alexander in the last two sets which was very critical. If Zverev had more stamina at the end, then I think that Alexander would have been able to rally longer with Rafa which would prove difficult to handle.
Rafael Nadal will play Gael Monfils on Sunday at 6:00pm (CT), You can read more about it here.