Nadal Puts Tennis World On Notice With Victory Over Zverev

It looks like the old Nadal may be back after a trademark 4-6, 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-2 marathon win over teen sensation Zverev yesterday. I started watching in the first set after Zverev was a break up and what a match it turned out to be.

Zverev was the better player for most of the match but in the end, Nadal physically outlasted him. As we know Nadal never gets tired and his fitness was the only way he was going to win this match because Zverev was the aggressor.

The third set tiebreak was a key moment in the match and Zverev won it because he took the initiative. But from there on Nadal simply outlasted him physically. The turning point came at 2-2 and 40-40 in the fifth set where Zverev won a 37-shot rally.

After that, he was physically done and lost the next four games. He was still in a position to win that game with game point coming up but he was cramping badly and his tennis suffered as a result.

That was sad to see because like I said he was the aggressor the whole match but Nadal’s endless pushing and grinding just wore him out as it has done so many opponents before Zverev. How anyone can enjoy that kind of tennis is still beyond me after all these years.

  • Nadal’s Negative Playing Style: Tennis or War of Attrition?

I mean I respect and can even admire Nadal’s resilience(unless of course there are drugs involved) but his endless retrieving does absolutely nothing for me. It doesn’t look good and it is strictly a war of attrition.

There is no artistry or variation involved. It is just endless pushing, grinding, and running until the opponent literally collapses. It is negative tennis. Pure and simple.

Anyway, I was impressed again with Zverev despite the fact that he came up short physically. He has a terrific temperament and maturity for a teenager. I mean this kid is going to be good. Much better than Thiem.

He’s got everything really but he can still improve his net game especially so that he can finish points faster against someone like Nadal. But he isn’t afraid to go for his shots or to win. He has the champions mentality.

Whatever the case may be, Nadal won and looked like his old self. We have said that a lot of late only for him to lose again but you can’t write him off for the title now. He plays Monfils next which you’d think he will win and then likely Raonic.

If he can beat Raonic he will probably make the final. And if he makes the final anything can happen.

  • Elsewhere in the Draw

After upsetting Djokovic Istomin continued his winning ways by defeating Carreno Busta in five sets as well. It is nice to see someone who had such a big win not losing in the next match as so often happens.

Istomin now plays Dimitrov who straight-setted Gasquet and won Brisbane of course. That should be an interesting encounter and so will Goffin vs Thiem where Goffin leads the head-to-head 4-3 and won last year’s meeting in Melbourne in four sets.

Thiem lost to Dimitrov and Evans in Brisbane and Sydney respectively but both of them are still in the draw so they are playing well. The Thiem vs Goffin match will be another very watchable fourth round.

As for tomorrow’s tennis, Federer vs Nishikori is obviously the big one. Probably Federer will continue his impressive form and win but Nishikori can’t be underestimated. At least it is highly likely that he will put up a better fight than Berdych!

  • Highlights

Who will win?

  • Federer in 4 (45%, 13 Votes)
  • Federer in 5 (21%, 6 Votes)
  • Nishikori in 4 (17%, 5 Votes)
  • Nishikori in 5 (7%, 2 Votes)
  • Federer in 3 (7%, 2 Votes)
  • Nishikori in 3 (3%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 29

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Posted in Australian Open, Grand Slams.


  1. I’m so depressed at the thought of a possible deja vu scenario with a Fed/Nadal final. I suppose you have to hand something to Nadal for carrying on fighting his demons and never giving up, but I never could bear watching him play and still can’t, although he seems an OK guy in interviews. To me his game is ugly as are all the pumping gestures and tics (which he probably can’t help but still so unattractive).
    Fed hasn’t been really challenged at all. Two qualifiers followed by Berdych who folded up as expected. Nishikori has been the only supposedly half decent player he’s had to face. I know it’s bad of me, but I’m hoping that somebody takes both of them out before the end, and we see a brand new champion if we can’t have the one we want.


    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah, Nadal is pretty unbearable. I wouldn’t say Federer hasn’t been challenged at all after the Nishikori match. I don’t really care how it all plays out. Maybe if Federer or Nadal win the title it will wake Djokovic up. I’d prefer a Stan vs Raonic final, then a Stan vs Nadal final, and finally a Fedal final. At this point, it has become funny to see how Nadal consistently beats Federer so it won’t be that bad, but then Nadal would have the double career slam which would be a disaster. So yeah, I’d probably prefer a Stan vs Raonic final.


    Lynsey Adams Reply:

    I don’t really care either, except I definitely don’t want Nadal to get the double career slam, or Fed to get no 18. Yikes, too much to bear altogether. I only watched tiny bits of the Fed/Nishikori match when it looked as though Kei might be getting his act together, so maybe he put up more of a fight than I thought, but it was still the first time Fed had to play anybody worth a damn. Did you see the clip of that feeble mini -tantrum that Fed threw, it was hilarious.

    I was hoping Istomin might get through somehow, but not to be, and I wouldn’t even mind Goffin or Mischa getting a chance – I can’t even remember who is in which half now. Stan V Raonic final would be OK, ideally a completely new guy lifting the trophy. I have my own theories about Novak even wanting to wake up, but don’t want to be negative so will keep quiet! :-)


    Ru-an Reply:

    I don’t want Federer or Nadal to win either but if that is what it will take for Djokovic to wake up it may be worth it. Federer vs Nishikori was a close match obviously going to five sets. I thought Federer did well to come through. And yes I saw his tantrum which was silly.


    Lynsey Adams Reply:

    As tantrums go, it was pretty feeble. Actually laughable. Imagine if Novak had done that…’he could have killed somebody with those sheets of paper, he could have taken someone’s eye out with that bottle…disgraceful behaviour, cheat, unsportsmanlike’, and on and on. Well, whoever gets to the final, at least I’ll have my fingernails intact this time because I just don’t care one way or the other – it’s a strange and unfamiliar sensation :-(


  2. You put a very poor commentary on Nadal there, using typically bitter stereotypes, frustrated slurs and all the other cliches Federer fans resort to when describing rafa. You must have actually missed the match with Zverev, even though it was on the television in front of you. How you concluded that “we know Nadal never gets tired and his fitness was the only way he was going to win this match because Zverev was the aggressor”, and that “(t)here is no artistry or variation involved. It is just endless pushing, grinding, and running until the opponent literally collapses. It is negative tennis. Pure and simple” defies the actual evidence of the match, where Nadal’s experience was the difference, and it manifested itself in cunning use of slice to break up Zverev’s rhythm, as well as Rafa’s usual shrewd mixing it up at the net. Plus aggression, and the return of his groundstrokes to near their exhilarating best.

    And of course, dreadfully, you resort to the ultimate slur, mentioning drugs. You don’t appreciate a great player and their extraordinary feats, because he’s spoiled your fantasy. Meanwhile, Federer has defied age and tennis history by his unusual and actually quite unbelievable physical feats of stamina, endurance and recovery, breaking records that would make a great cyclist blush, but that’s cool, eh? Nothing to see here…


    Ru-an Reply:

    There’s nothing to see here but you are here 😉 (Ps. I’m not a Fedfan)


    Kieran Reply:

    There’s only seeing what you want to see. Example? I didn’t say you were a Fedfan… ;-)


    Ru-an Reply:



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