Novak Djokovic weighs in on Rafael Nadal versus Alexander Zverev

Nadal is set to face Zverev in the opening round of the French Open.
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In one of the filthiest first-round French Open draws that Rafael Nadal could have gotten in 2024, he will face ATP No. 4 and excellent clay-court player Alexander Zverev. Both players are capable of excellence, of course, but the issue is that currently, Zverev is playing some of the best tennis of his career while Nadal is struggling with his health in the final year of his career. Still, this is Nadal at Roland Garros.

Even Nadal playing at 50 percent of his full ability can be dangerous on the clay court of Paris. He knows too well how to win at the Grand Slam having done so 14 times before. Can he defeat Zverev? Of course, he can. But Zverev is younger, healthier, and playing better. The German should be the heavy favorite to win.

The French Open draws are blind, of course. If the tournament had control over who played whom, the major would almost certainly not have Nadal play Zverev in the first round. That might be a dream semifinal matchup, but it is a first-round nightmare for both the players and the French Open. Either way, a player who is a big draw in tennis is going to lose early at the event.

Novak Djokovic gives his thoughts on Rafael Nadal versus Alexander Zverev

Novak Djokovic is also a huge draw for the sport, of course. He will participate at Roland Garros but appears to have an easier matchup in the first round. Ideally, tennis fans and the tournament might have liked to have seen a Djokovic versus Nadal match late in the event, but neither player has played well enough in 2024 to expect that.

Djokovic participated at the Geneva Open ahead of the French Open simply to try to get in better form and get more matches in. He was asked by the media if he had heard of the Nadal versus Zverev draw at Roland Garros and he gave an honest and perfect response. Two words describe best how many view the match.

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Djokovic said, "Yes, I’ve seen (the draw). Total spectacle. I’m excited to see that match, it’s going to be a very interesting match. Zverev comes in great form from winning in Rome. On the Roland Garros court, it’s not the same Rafa we are used to. It’s Roland Garros, so we’ll see what happens."

Total spectacle indeed. The match, obviously, is going to happen either way and will make for must-watch tennis. We could easily be seeing the last of Rafael Nadal at the French Open.

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