5 things we learned from the Rafael Nadal-Alexander Zverev match
Here are five takeaways from Rafael Nadal's narrow win over Alexander Zverev.
Rafael Nadal reached the fourth round of the Australian Open but not before surviving a scare against rising talent Alexander Zverev in a thrilling five-setter that lasted four hours and five minutes. The 19-year old German began strongly by taking the first set 6-4 before Rafa came back to take the second set 6-3. However, Zverev continued his relentless attack and managed to take the third set via a tiebreak.
At this point, it seemed that Nadal may have to leave the tournament early but the Spaniard is not one to back down. He held his nerve and took the fourth set to keep himself in the match. During the final set, Zverev got cramps and as a result, could not play at his best as Nadal took the set as well as the match.
The Spaniard will now take on sixth seed Gael Monfils who beat Philipp Kohlschreiber in straight sets.
The Nadal-Zverev match was one of the best matches of the tournament so far and had lots and lots of exciting action. Here’s a list of five things we have learned during this match.
#5 When push came to shove, Nadal fired
Rafael Nadal has been known to bounce back from do-or-die scenarios and yesterday’s match was one of those numerous occasions. Zverev began the match brilliantly as he took the first set. However, Nadal bounced back to take the second set 6-3. The third set was a pretty exciting contest with both players playing brilliantly but Zverev’s aggressive play and his backhand eventually won him the third set via a tiebreak.
At this point, all seemed lost for Nadal and Zverev was only a set away from reaching the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career. However, he held his nerve and rebounded strongly by taking the fourth set with an ace and levelling the match.
Nadal eventually took the final set as well to complete a remarkable comeback and enter the fourth round of the tournament. The way Nadal played during the fourth and fifth set of that match just shows how difficult it is to take him down.