Rafael Nadal slips to semi-final defeat at Paris Masters as Alexander Zverev reaches final
Rafael Nadal’s wait for a first win at the Rolex Paris Masters will go on for another year at least after the top seed was overpowered in straight sets by Alexander Zverev in their semi-final.
While Nadal has reigned supreme on the Parisian clay for much of the last 15 years, the Spaniard has had an altogether less successful time across the city in the Bercy indoor event.
He was looking to reach the final for only the second time in eight attempts but had no answer to the fourth-seeded Zverev, who prevailed 6-4 7-5 in an hour and 39 minutes and who, by Nadal’s own admission, proved too strong.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) November 7, 2020
“He was serving bombs and hitting the right spots all the time,” Nadal said.
“I returned better than the other days, but it was impossible at the beginning. I decided to go eight metres behind the baseline later on in the match and I think it worked better for me. But he’s playing well and hitting well.
“Of course I’m not happy about the loss, but that’s part of the game. I played against a great player, and I accept the defeat. He played a little bit better than me.”
Victory could have been even more emphatic for Zverev, who had three chances to claim a double break in the second set before then dropping his serve as Nadal reeled off three games in a row to move 5-4 ahead.
However, Zverev bounced back and decisively broke in the 11th game before comfortably holding serve to claim his second victory in a row over Nadal, who has won five of their seven meetings.
View this post on Instagram
Nadal will now head to London for the ATP Finals, which he has also never won, while Zverev goes in search of his third title since the start of October when he faces Daniil Medvedev in Sunday’s final.
The German said: “I’m in the final of a Masters, so I’m quite happy about that. And I have just beaten Rafa. That is never easy to do, the whole world will agree with me on that, all the players will agree with me on that.
“It’s going to be a final against Daniil. The two best players of the tournament are still left. I’m happy about it. I think he’s quite happy about it. We’re both not going to give each other anything.”
Medvedev, seeded third, claimed a 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) win over Canada’s Milos Raonic, the 10th seed, in the other semi-final.
After reaching his first final in 13 months, the Russian said: “Something is working well here in Paris. Maybe I like the balls, maybe the court.”
Andy Murray’s former coach gives his verdict on off-court coaching
Andy Murray’s former coach Jamie Delgado has given his verdict on the decision to allow in-match coaching in the men’s game.
Novak Djokovic still has Olympic dream in his sights
The Olympic dream still claws at Novak Djokovic.
Rafael Nadal will keep playing so long as the wins keep coming
Rafael Nadal isn’t ready to pack it in just yet.
‘Motivated’ Novak Djokovic blows past Cristian Garin in Kazakhstan
Novak Djokovic was unstoppable.
Australia Open organisers hint at Novak Djokovic return in 2023
It looks likely that Novak Djokovic will take part in the 2023 Australian Open.
Why Emma Raducanu should take encouragement from her recent near misses
Emma Raducanu should take encouragement from her recent near misses.
Carlos Alcaraz to take lessons from David Goffin’s spanking
Carlos Alcaraz says he will take lessons from the spanking he got from David Goffin.
Daria Kasatkina ousts Emma Raducanu in first round of Agel Open
The British number one was beaten 7-5 6-4 at the Czech tournament.