French Open – Highest hurdle in the tennis world: Zverev in Paris against Nadal

The same processes always give Zverev security. In addition, there is the role of the underdog, which seems to suit him very well. Before the tournament, nobody talked about the world number three when it came to predicting the semifinalists at the French Open. Everyone was talking about Novak Djokovic’s Grand Slam comeback after missing the Australian Open, about the 19-year-old all-rounder Alcaraz and, of course, about Nadal.

Nadal burden chronic pain in the foot

After all, it could be the last French Open for the Paris darling, Nadal kept saying that during the tournament. The chronic pain in his foot is too much of a burden for him, and according to his own statements, he can only make it through the tournament with the help of the constant support of his personal doctor. It cannot be ruled out that it is Zverev who ends Nadal’s incredible relationship with Paris and possibly even his career. If he beats the 35-year-old on Friday.

Zverev himself tries to hide that. Before the Australian Open in January, he had put too much pressure on himself. First Grand Slam title, number one in the world – it all weighed on him, in the round of 16 it was over against Canadian Denis Shapovalov. The same thing is now at stake in Paris. Zverev can once again fulfill his dream of the first Grand Slam title of his career, and the 25-year-old can storm to the top of the world rankings again. The difference to Melbourne: Zverev doesn’t let the topics outshine everything else this time.

Of course he knows the chances. “I’m at an age and at a point in my career where I want to win, where I should win,” said Zverev. But in the Bois de Boulogne he sees the great challenge more as an incentive than as a burden. Likewise, being the first German since Boris Becker in 1991 to be number one. His brother believes he is capable of both. “I think now is the moment when he can do it,” said Mischa Zverev in an interview with “Sports Illustrated”.