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Medvedev: Nadal Can Absolutely Win

Written by Richard Pagliaro | @Itenisi_Manje | Friday, May 24, 2024

Perrier, not the fountain of youth, is the official water of Roland Garros.

However, he is 37 years old Rafael Nadalit looks renewed in red mud, said Daniel Medvedev.

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Medvedev, ranked fifth, practiced with Nadal at Roland Garros yesterday and it is reported that the King of Clay not only beat him in practice, he played better than what he did in Madrid or Rome.

“Well, you played well,” Medvedev told reporters in Paris. “We didn't play five sets. He played well. Better than what I saw on TV from Rome or Madrid.

“I didn't feel like I was bad. We played a set and stuff, and he beat me.”

In one of the greatest French Open first-round matches in the history of the Open Era, Nadal will face the two-time Rome champion. Alexander Zverev.

Medvedev, who lost two Grand Slam finals to Nadal at the 2019 US Open and 2022 Australian Open, predicts “Rafa can absolutely win” when he meets Zverev.

“I will be happy to see how he plays against Zverev, because once again, Rafa will always be Rafa,” said Medvedev. “He has won here 14 times. Until he plays here, even if he may not be the favorite, he can absolutely win.

“I don't know. He might have lost three or four times. The game will be interesting.”

2021 US Open champion Medvedev said that while practicing with Nadal yesterday, he saw the Spanish star shatter the legend.

While Nadal has a reputation as one of the hardest working champions in the history of the Open Era, Medvedev knows from experience that the 14-year Roland Garros champion has incredible hand skills.

“We were laughing because sometimes about Rafa because, maybe, I don't want to say a tennis player who works very hard, but he works hard for sure. A lot of hard work, a lot of mental effort,” said Medvedev. “Sometimes people forget that he also has a lot of talent in his hands.

“We were warming up serves and he did three volleys in a row, dropshots, bananas, like backspin, and it was funny.

“We were saying, yes, there is no talent, hard work (smiling). It is difficult to play him. He has the ability to spin the ball and not like other players, to find these high balls, especially clay, is not easy. Then we go to where he fights for every point, he brings momentum to every point, you know that you will be tired, you know that it will be difficult.

Photo credit: Mike Lawrence/USTA/US Open

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