‘Rafael Nadal is the best defender in tennis,’ says Alexander Zverev ahead of Paris Masters clash

Rafael Nadal is the ‘best defender in tennis’ according to Alexander Zvever, who is due to meet the Spaniard in the semi-finals of the Paris Masters. 

Zverev has played Nadal six times before in his career, winning just once, although that one win was significant as it came on an indoor hardcourt.

And, while Zverev is arguably playing the best tennis of his whole career right now, he knows how tough it will be to get the best of Nadal in Paris.

“Against Nadal you have to play very smart,” Zverev said. “Maybe the best defender in our game. I’m not telling you the tactics.”

Zverev did reveal he was nursing himself through an injury, although he doesn’t necessarily expect it to be an issue.

“It‘s a little bit like the [groin] injury I had against [Adrian] Mannarino in Cologne,” he said.

“I hope it is nothing too serious. I think it will be fine to play against Nadal.

“I had one bad game all match. I’m happy to be in the semi-finals for the first time.

“I never felt well here in past. Maybe because I was tired from the season. It’s different this time.”

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