German Alexander Zverev meets 13-time winner Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of the French Open on Friday, June 3rd. Get the live streaming options of this Alexander Zverev v Rafael Nadal match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Alexander Zverev v Rafael Nadal Head to Head
This will be the tenth meeting between both players, with Nadal leading the head-to-head 6-3. Their last meeting was in 2021 at the Rome Masters 1000 where Nadal prevailed, a week after losing out at the same stage in the Madrid Masters 1000.
Their only meeting at a major was at the 2017 Australian Open where Nadal prevailed in a tight five setter.
Clinical Zverev Showing
Number three seed Alexander Zverev was a semi-finalist at the 2021 French Open losing a tight five-setter to fellow Next Gen Stefanos Tsitsipas.
While 2022 did not get off to the best of starts for the German with a week one loss at the Aussie Open and unimpressive showings at the Sunshine Masters , Zverev hit form during the European clay swing making the final four or better at all three Masters 1000 tournaments on the surface.
Zverev made the most of an early first round against Sebastian Ofner of Austria but was down two sets to love in the next round against rising Argentine Sebastian Baez and the German saved match points in the decider for an epic five set win.
It was more routine sailing for the German as he made the quarter-finals defeating Brandon Nakashima and Bernabe Zapata Miralles thereafter.
Facing rising Spanish star Carlos Alcaraz in the quarters, Zverev started as the slight underdog having lost to the Spaniard in the Madrid Masters 1000 final earlier in May and the clinical form that the teenager has been in.
However, Zverev was off to a flyer as Alcaraz looked a little sluggish and unsettled and with some clinical serving, the German was up two sets to love winning the first two sets 6-4, 6-4.
Alcaraz seemed to be getting to his usual self in the third and when he fended off a break point at 4-4, it was vintage Alcaraz on the Zverev serve the next game, breaking the German to close the set 6-4.
A solid fourth set ensued where the German drew first blood to be serving for the match at 5-4, but a mix of Zverev’s nerves and Alcaraz strokes saw him get broken to love as the set headed for a tiebreak.
A back and forth tiebreak ensued with Alcaraz saving match-point and Zverev saving setpoint, but the German finally prevailed 9-7 in the breaker for a back-to-back Roland Garros semi-final showing.
Nadal Scalps Djokovic
21-time major champion Rafael Nadal came into the quarter-final against arch rival Novak Djokovic at the back of an injury cloud, minimal match practice on clay and a tiring four plus hour fourth round against Felix Auger- Aliassime.
Given all these factors, the consensus was that despite Nadal’s superhuman success at the French Open, Djokovic was starting as the favorite.
Nadal came out all guns blazing and with a double break, took the opening set 6-2. Another double break followed as the Spaniard went up 3-0 in the second as the world number one was not looking like himself.
But as is often the case with Djokovic, he got into top gear soon thereafter with two breaks of serve tying the second set at 3-3 after an epic 18 minute sixth game.
Serving 4-5 in the second, Nadal was unable to hold serve as Djokovic tied the match at a set apiece.
The Spaniard was off the blocks in a jiffy in a third with two break of serve and then no looking back to take the set 6-2.
For the first time in the match, Djokovic started a set strong, with him looking to run away with the fourth set up 5-3 and serving for the decider.
Nadal had other plans putting up a vintage show to save setpoints and take the set into a tiebreak.
The Spaniard played a tiebreak that was reminiscent of his younger days as he took a 6-1 lead with five match points in no time and despite a fightback from Djokovic, it was Roland Garros semi final number 15 for the Spaniard with a 7-4 tiebreak win.
Zverev v Nadal Prediction and Tip
This makes for an exciting semi-final with both players prevailing from somewhat unexpected wins.
Nadal will be tired after the last two rounds that went more than four hours each, and Zverev looked clinical in his last match, so this remains a crucial factor.
However, it is Roland Garros semis and no one knows it better than Nadal.
Expect a tight match with the 13-time winner prevailing in a four setter.