TennisSection previews the 2021 Madrid Open as Rafael Nadal (1) meets Alexander Zverev (5) in the Quarter-finals on Friday, May 7th, 2021.
Will Alexander Zverev make it 3 wins in a row against Rafael Nadal, although this is going to be their first meeting on clay in a long time? Will Rafael Nadal continue to dominate here in Madrid as he looks to make the Semi-finals? Both players can win this match if they are at their best, but only one will. Who will it be?
Although Alexander Zverev won his match against the British No.1, Daniel Evans, in straight sets 6-3/7-6(3), the match was much tighter than the scoreboard says. Alexander Zverev had to fight for everything throughout that match as Evans kept trying to change his playing style up to keep the German on his toes. This match was good match for Zverev to get under his belt as he was able to adapt both his serving patterns and his movement around the court to ensure he got the win in 2 very tight sets. However, Alexander Zverev will now have to raise his level drastically if he wants to beat the King of Clay, Rafael Nadal, infront of his home crowd.
Rafael Nadal cruised through his Round of 16 match against the young Australian, Alexei Popyrin, beating him in straight sets 6-3/6-3. Popyrin started the match really well and had a few break points. However, Rafael Nadal quickly shut the door and ensured that the Australian did not see many opportunities after that. Nadal is an incredible player on clay, and he keeps on improving this year compared to where he was when he was playing in Monte-Carlo just around a month ago. Rafael Nadal will be looking at the draw now, and know that if he wins this match against Alexander Zverev, the title here at the 2021 Madrid Open is practically guaranteed as only Dominic Thiem might remain out of the top seeds and he is still finding his feet after a long period off.
Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev have met 7 times before, with Rafael Nadal leading the head to head 5-2. Alexander Zverev has won their last 2 encounters in straight sets, however, those were in indoor hard court conditions, Zverev’s favourite surface and Nadal’s least favourite. Here, on the clay courts of the 2021 Madrid Open, I would be extremely shocked if Alexander Zverev is able to get the best of Nadal for a 3rdtime in a row. Rafa is in great form this week, and he will be very determined to get revenge against Zverev by making sure to move the German around in uncomfortable spots on the court. I expect this match to be a straight sets victory for the Spaniard, taking him one step closer to his 6th Madrid Open title.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Rafael Nadal in 2 Sets.