Nadal Sees Zverev As Number One In The Future

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Copyright © 2016. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.

Alexander Zverev Tennis News

Rafael Nadal is not a man prone to exaggeration but after facing a match point against the 18-year-old German Alexander “Sascha” Zverev he is acutely aware tennis has another major star in the making.

Even before the pair’s 6-7, 6-0, 7-5 battle at Indian Wells’ BNP Paribas Open, the Spaniard who spent 141 weeks as world no.1 stressed a belief that Zverev has the quality and game to one day reach the top spot himself.

“He is amazingly talented,” said Nadal. “He is probably going to be the number one in the world.

“With his second serve at 120mph, with a lot of spin and at 124, 123, 120mph, it was impossible. If he puts the first serve in at over 130 mph then you are in big trouble. So I think that I’m here, and still alive.”

Nadal admitted Zverev’s serve is a weapon that can already be viewed amongst the very best.  “Second serve I decided to go back three, four meters behind the baseline,” he said.

“Sascha’s young, ready to take the risks, and if the opponent wants to take the risk on the second serve and he’s having success, it’s difficult to make something, no?”

Zverev, who stands 6ft 6ins tall and became aware of the demands of a top-flight player from his elder brother on tour Mischa, who rose to world no.45 eight years ago, reached led 5-3 and 40-30 in the final set, only to make three straight unforced errors.

And the teenager woefully admitted: “On match point I sucked.”

Nadal now goes through to meet Kei Nishikori and could face another meeting with current world no.1 Novak Djokovic in the semi-final. Yet his mind was still very much on overcoming Zverev and he stressed: “Is a great victory and I’m very happy about it.

“I am especially happy about the mentality on court, the spirit of fight during the whole match, believing that I can win a match during the whole time, even in the tougher situations.”

Copyright © 2016. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.