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RAFAEL NADAL

Rafael Nadal: 'Before the match, I thought I could lose'

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by Gatto Luigi

Tennis - The Spaniard player feels he played much better than yesterday

Rafael Nadal did not expect to beat Alexander Zverev so easily today. The Spaniard player prevailed 6-1 6-1 in a very easier match than the two previous meetings at 2016 Indian Wells and this year in Melbourne. 'Before the match, I thought going to be a big test for me, going to be a very hard match', Nadal said. 'I went on court knowing it's going to be one of these kind of matches that if you don't play well, you probably going to go out. But I played well. I played much better than yesterday. I played more aggressive. I played with a very high intensity from the beginning, more inside the court, more aggressive with my forehand. Then I maintain that kind of level for all the match, I think. My serve, even if the percentage probably was less, lower than yesterday, but the speed of the serve was higher. In all terms, I think I served better than yesterday. I play with not many mistakes. Then the aggressive idea and determination was much better than yesterday. I know I have to play a different way than yesterday. In a good way or in a bad way, I needed to play better than yesterday. It was probably little bit tough to accept for him the way that the result was going on. That's why the last two, three games he played more aggressive than usual.'

We keep reading that the next generation is coming very strong, that maybe the changing of the guard is close. Are they that close from the big four guys, or that the gap is still pretty wide? 'The gap is not bigger, you know. The gap is not that big as the match of today. The real thing is Zverev is ready to win against anybody, no? Before the match, I thought today is one of those matches that I really can lose. Then happen what happen. Great news for me. If I play against him tomorrow, I going to keep thinking is one of these kind of matches that I can lose.'

Tomorrow he will face the Argentinean Diego Schwartzman, who is 'a player that won already three matches on clay. He's playing at very high level of tennis. He going to be a very dangerous opponent tomorrow..I need to be ready to compete at my highest level tomorrow to keep having chances to be through. Let's see what's happen.'

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