"That's part of the business" - Rafael Nadal makes honest admission about facing in-form Alexander Zverev in French Open 1R

Rafael Nadal voiced his opinion on being drawn against Alexander Zverev in the first round of the 2024 French Open (Source: Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal voiced his opinion on being drawn against Alexander Zverev in the first round of the 2024 French Open (Source: Getty Images)

Rafael Nadal has made his feelings clear about being drawn against Alexander Zverev in the first round of the 2024 French Open. The Spaniard is slated to square off against the German in a rematch of their 2022 tournament semifinal on Monday, May 27.

On that occasion, it was Nadal who came out on top after Zverev retired with a serious ankle injury. The Spaniard would go on to win his record-extending 14th French Open title that year.

Right now though, Zverev and Nadal are poles apart as far as form, fitness and rankings go. The German is heading into his French Open campaign on the back of a resounding ATP Masters 1000 triumph at the Italian Open, which saw him become the new World No. 4.

However, Nadal, despite having tried to play at his best at the Madrid Open and the Italian Open, could only muster fourth-round and second-round finishes respectively. The Spaniard's current ranking is a lowly World No. 276.

Recently, the former World No. 1 attended a press conference, where he touched on the tricky hand he has been dealt by the draw. In all likelihood, this year's edition of the French Open will mark Nadal's Roland Garros swansong, and a first-round exit for the 14-time champion would be a bitter pill to swallow for him.

"At some point somebody told me the draw. I mean, the reaction is something that I expected in some way. When you’re not seeded, anything can happen. That’s part of the business," Nadal said during a press conference.

"It's a tough draw for both me and Rafael Nadal" - Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev at a press conference
Alexander Zverev at a press conference

Zverev, despite his red-hot form, knows of the threat that Nadal poses at Roland Garros, even though the Spaniard has not been at his best of late. At a recent press conference, the German said that the draw has been "tough" on both himself and Nadal.

"Ideally I would have liked to play him in at a later stage of the tournament um but it is how it is now. He is unseeded this year, I am seeded. It's a tough draw but it's a tough draw for both of us and we'll see how it goes," Zverev said.

Nadal and Zverev have clashed on ten previous occasions on the ATP Tour. The Spaniard leads the pair's head-to-head 7-3. The winner of the match between Nadal and Zverev will face either David Goffin or Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard.

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here

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