It is not this year that Rafael Nadal will finally include the Masters 1000 in Paris on his immense prize list. For his eighth participation, the world n ° 2 was released in the semi-final by the German Alexander Zverev (6-4, 7-5 in 1h39). The end of five years of invincibility with racket in hand in the capital, regardless of the side of the Seine… “There is no curse, blows the Spaniard. It’s a Masters 1000, on a complicated surface for me where I’m playing for the first time this year. We must not think that not winning is abnormal, on the contrary, it is perfectly normal! “
With a break early in the match and untouchable in service (nine aces in five face-offs and 78% of first balls), Zverev, who remains on two ATP 250 tournaments won in Cologne (Germany), quickly folded the first handle on a perfectly felt cushioning (6-4 in 38 minutes). “If I want to have a chance, I will have to improve in return,” predicted the Spaniard, forced to run for the third time this week after the score.
On condition of not giving in on his commitment… At 1-1 in the second set, the man with 13 Roland Garros again faltered by conceding the break on a backhand volley in the net yet largely within his reach. All that remained for the Mallorcan then was to hope for a miracle or a rout of Zverev in service.
See you at the Masters in London
The German had a double break point at 3-1 before erasing two break points on a winning service and a rally of 26 strokes concluded at the net… On the brink of the abyss, Nadal even found himself led 2- 4 0-40. But the Spaniard is a model of resilience. To the point of returning to 4-4, then taking the lead before cracking to 5-5. This time, Zverev did not pass up the opportunity to conclude on an overly uncrossed forehand from Nadal and beat his rival for the second consecutive time in seven confrontations.
“At 5-5, I made two unforced errors in backhand and he has a volley that touches the net, details the Manacori. These are end points, but he is very confident. I would have liked to play the tie-break because in view of the course of the set I was in an ascending position. All the credit goes to him… ”
This Sunday, Zverev will face Russian Daniil Medvedev in the final, solid winner of Milos Raonic (6-4, 7-6 ). Whoever wins, it will be unheard of in Paris. Nadal has a week to prepare for the London Masters, the last tennis meeting of the season. A test which, too, has always been denied to him … “I’m going to go home and prepare London,” he breathes. I’m not happy with the loss, but it’s been a far from negative week. “
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr