There was good news and bad news for Rafael Nadal on Monday, during his round-robin loss to Alexander Zverev. On the plus side, Nadal felt no pain in his recently injured abdomen; on the down side, he played one of his worst matches of the season.
“Things happen, you need to accept,” said Nadal after the 6-2, 6-4 defeat. “Sometimes the things that are happening are very positive… sometimes negative. We need to accept both things being and staying calm at all times. That's what I did probably all my career.”
Luckily for Nadal, his Wednesday opponent, Daniil Medvedev, is also struggling to regain momentum. After reaching six consecutive finals after Wimbledon—including at the US Open, where he pushed Nadal to the limit in five sets—the Russian took an opening-round loss in Paris.
“I'm struggling a little bit with finding back my level I had in USA and Shanghai and St. Petersburg,” Medvedev told press in London. “I’m quite confident that at one moment I will get it back. The question is is it going to be this tournament or the next one?”
Much like Zverev, Medvedev matches up with Nadal about as well as possible, especially on a quick indoor-court. In these conditions, Nadal won’t be able to spin his forehand out of the 6’6” Russian’s strike zone, so he’ll need to add more depth to his shots. It was one of the reasons, along with Medvedev's fearlessness, that he nearly mounted a five-set win over Rafa at Flushing Meadows.
It's difficult to go against a world No. 1 under any circumstances. But judging by Nadal’s opening-round dud, and his lack of ATP Finals success, look for Medvedev to notch his first career win over the all-time great. Winner: Medvedev
UTR is where you can find better matches and more players at your level - regardless of age or gender Powered by the world’s most accurate tennis rating.
If you have played a USTA match, you already have a rating. Go to MyUTR.com and activate your profile - for free.