May 23, 2024 3:15 PM
Last modified date: May 26, 2024 12:48 PM
Adam Evans

Alexander Zverev vs Rafael Nadal Preview & Prediction | 2024 French Open | First Round

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The draw gods have not been kind to Rafael Nadal on his fated final campaign at Roland-Garros, where it seems only the will of the people can power him through.

START DATE/TIME: Monday 27th May 2024, UK – not before 13:30 / US EST – not before 08:30 / US PST – not before 05:30

VENUE: Roland Garros Stadium, Paris, France

SURFACE: Outdoor clay

HOW TO WATCH ON TV: UK – Eurosport / US – NBC and Tennis Channel

HOW TO WATCH ONLINE: UK – discovery+ / US – Peacock

TICKETS: Visit this link for the latest Alexander Zverev vs Rafael Nadal ticket information


14-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal returns to Roland-Garros for one last time but it remains to be seen if he has been hindered or hampered by a remarkably tough opener against world number four Alexander Zverev.

The pair last met in the semi-finals here in 2022, where Zverev looked the stronger player before turning his ankle in a horrid season-ending injury, and that fact will not be lost on both players in this 11th encounter between them. Nadal leads their head-to-head 7-3 as things stand but Zverev has beaten the Spaniard on clay, most recently at the Madrid Masters in 2021, and he comes in hot from winning his sixth Masters title in Rome.

This will be a momentous occasion, perhaps the highest quality first round clash at any Grand Slam tournament since seeding was introduced and certainly one of the most significant. Nadal will throw everything he has left at it in front of an adoring, partisan support and his best hopes at causing an incredible upset is his aura on this court, his inimitable experience, his never-say-die attitude and the sheer will of the people watching.

It is hard to imagine a worse draw for Nadal at this moment in time, with Zverev the most in-form of several pretenders to the throne on clay – particularly with fitness doubts over each of the current top four. If the 37-year-old can somehow battle through it he will be left with Zverev’s draw as the pseudo fifth seed in Paris and that could see him reach the last eight before meeting a serious challenger again.

However, Nadal’s recent performances have not suggested he can best the German over five gruelling sets. A limp exit to big-serving Hubert Hurkacz in Rome says Zverev, whose serving as impeccable en-route to that title, can avenge his own Roland-Garros heartbreak and all-but certainly end a legend’s career. Back Zverev to win.


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