Watch: Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev have fun in training ahead of Madrid Open

Nadal and Zverev were seen practicing ahead of the Madrid Masters
Nadal and Zverev were seen practicing ahead of the Madrid Masters
Karan Vinod

Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev were seen hitting the practice courts ahead of the Madrid Open. The Spaniard was seen having a laugh with the German towards the end of their practice session.

Wait for it... Rafa's fooling around! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚@RafaelNadal | @atptour | #MMOPEN

While the tournament commenced on Sunday, the duo are yet to play their opening matches as they've received a bye into the second round.

Alexander Zverev returns to Madrid as the defending champion, having beaten Nadal in the quarterfinals last year.

Rafael Nadal returns to action after recovering from a rib injury he sustained in the semifinals of Indian Wells against fellow countryman Carlos Alcaraz. The Spaniard skipped Monte-Carlo and Barcelona and will hope to regain match fitness and good form ahead of the French Open.

Rafael Nadal is nearly 2,000 points behind World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in ATP rankings after missing Monte-Carlo, Barcelona

Rafael Nadal in action at Indian Wells against Taylor Fritz
Rafael Nadal in action at Indian Wells against Taylor Fritz

With ranking points for Monte-Carlo and Barcelona having already been dropped, Rafael Nadal currently possesses 6435 points, which is 1965 points fewer than World No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

The preparation going on 😍to defend the title 😎#TeamSascha enjoy the Practice of Zverev with Nadal πŸ˜ƒπŸ€—@zverev_team @Zverev_fans @saschashoulders @Tennis_Etc #Zverev #Nadal #MMOPEN #Tennis

Nadal is defending 2180 points during the claycourt swing. He's defending 1000 points from his win in the 2020 French Open and 1000 points from his title in Rome last year. He's also defending 180 points in Madrid. Meanwhile, Djokovic is defending 3350 points on clay, with 500 points coming from his title in Madrid in 2019, 2000 points from Roland Garros, 600 from Rome and 250 from Belgrade 2 last year.

Nadal also has the likes of Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev between him and Djokovic in the rankings. With Medvedev on the sidelines due to a hernia and Zverev performing inconsistently so far this season, Nadal will look to capitalize and gain ranking spots.

Nadal will start his claycourt season in the second round of the Madrid Open against either Alexander Bublik or Miomir Kecmanovic. While the former has spoken openly about his dislike for clay, Kecmanovic has been making strides on tour. He has reached at least the quarterfinals in over six events and could prove to be a difficult opening match opponent for the Spaniard.

Edited by Keshav Gopalan


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