Jo-Wilfried Tsonga fires warning to Alexander Zverev ahead of Rafael Nadal RG match

Tsonga shares his thoughts on Nadal meeting Zverev in the French Open first round.

by Dzevad Mesic
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga fires warning to Alexander Zverev ahead of Rafael Nadal RG match
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is warning that writing off Rafael Nadal against Alexander Zverev could be a major mistake as the Frenchman highlights that the latest reports from Roland Garros indicate that the Spaniard is ready to play - which means that the German should prepare himself for a big battle.

After the French Open draw was released and it was revealed that Zverev would be Nadal's first-round opponent, some were disappointed because they thought it was an absolute horror of a draw for the former world No. 1. Also, some quickly started pointing out to Zverev coming off a Rome Masters win while Nadal had an inconsistent clay season that was full of question marks. 

While this is undoubtedly the most challenging situation Nadal has ever faced going into the French Open, some very promising updates dropped late in the week as the record 14-time Grand Slam champion apparently looked great in practice and didn't lose a single set there. 

After playing Nadal in practice and losing, Tallon Griekspoor said Nadal looked great - he heard the Spaniard beat others in practice as well - and also heard some commenting that this Nadal would win the title. Also, Nadal's coach Carlos Moya said this was the best the 37-year-old looked in practice in the last three months.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal© Getty Images Sport - Dan Istitene

Tsonga warns not to write off Nadal against Zverev

“The only thing I know is that in the corridors, he says to himself that in training he beat everyone, that he is playing very well again. We see members of his team making certain statements saying: 'Rafa, he's never been better, Rafa he's in great shape, Rafa he's like new..." Tsonga said on Prime Video Sport France.

"It's going to be interesting to see how it goes give. He remains a great champion and this environment will reveal what he has always been, that is to say a huge champion."

For Nadal and Zverev, this will be their first meeting since their 2022 French Open semifinal which ended with the German suffering a serious injury and retiring.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Alexander Zverev Rafael Nadal