Rafa Nadal suffered a semi-final loss at this year’s Rolex Paris Masters as his lack of success on indoor hard courts continues and the Paris Bercy event remains one of the few events he has never won. The closest he came to realising that was in 2007 when he lost to Argentina’s David Nalbandian.
I have just beaten Rafa, so that is never easy to do. I think the whole world will agree with me on that. Alexander Zverev
He had also hoped to match Novak Djokovic’s record of 36 Masters titles but came up against an in-form Alexander Zverev who got the better of him for the second consecutive time.
The German got off to a good start and went ahead in the third game of the first set breaking the top seed from Mallorca to love as he set a fast tempo for the match especially n the second set where Zverev came up with a series of excellent winners while Nadal relied on his serve which was eventually broken as he conceded his allotted final place to his opponent 6-4 7-5.
“It has been a positive tournament for me. Of course not happy about the loss, but that’s part of the game,” said Nadal, who will now concentrate on the ATP Finals in London which is another event he has never won.
“I spent hours on court. Of course I wanted to win the tournament, but it’s always difficult.
“But I had the right attitude during the whole event, I think, fighting in every match.
“That gave me the chance to play four matches that I think will be helpful for London. I need to adjust a couple of things, but I am doing well on all the important things.”
As regards the match itself, Nadal added: “He’s in the final serving huge. I think I returned better than the other days but was impossible at the beginning. He was serving bombs and hitting the right spots all the time.
“So I decided to go eight meters behind the baseline later on in the match and I think worked better for me.”
A delighted Zverev exclaimed after his victory: “I have just beaten Rafa, so that is never easy to do. I think the whole world will agree with me on that.”
The German will now meet Daniil Medvedev for the title which if proved successful, would be his fourth Masters title and 14th overall, while his Russian opponent is seeking his third Masters crown and eighth career title. Both would be winning the Pars Bercy event for the first time.
“We’re not going to give each other anything tomorrow and we’ll see who can win. I’m looking forward to it,” Zverev said. “I think we are both extremely hungry, it will be our first title here.”
Medvedev who had brought down the big serving Canadian Milos Raonic for his place in the final, 6-4 7-6(4), saved three break points when he was serving for the match and was forced to secure it in the tie break which he did, streaking into a 4-0 lead and then sealed his victory on his first match point.
“I don’t think it was the best tennis I have played this year, but it was definitely one of the best matches,” Medvedev said. “I was playing good in the beginning of the year, and then there was a stop (because of the pandemic).”