Germany's Alexander Zverev says it's a bit weird not having Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at the US Open but acknowledged those two will retire one day and every tournament will be played one day. "I mean, look, yeah, it's two players that are not here, and they are two of the greatest.
So obviously it will have a little bit of an effect, but I think this year's US Open is different in many ways. We don't have spectators, the crowd is gone, and stuff like that," Zverev said after beating Brandon Nakashima.
"So, yeah, it has an effect. Obviously it's not the same, but at some point those two will retire, as well. And we will play every tournament without them." On Wednesday, fifth-seeded Zverev survived a tricky second round challenge as he beat rising American star Nakashima 7-5 6-7 (8) 6-3 6-1 "His serve surprised me a lot because he doesn't serve very fast, but his placement is incredible.
He can go any corner. He has all the serves that you need. His second serve is incredibly good," Zverev said of Nakashima. "Yeah, he's very young, he still needs to develop, but his development over the last few months, years, has been very good.
So I think he can, you know -- what's his ranking now, 100-something? He's going to be top 100 in no time. I think he's going to go even further."
Zverev adds more praise on Nakashima
Nakashima, who recently turned 19 years, is ranked at No.
223 in the world. Zverev believes he has the game to be a top player in the world. "Yeah, he definitely has that talent. I think there is a lot more to being a top-20, top-25 player than just talent. He can decide for himself.
It's in his hands and his coach's hands," Zverev added of Nakashima. "Yeah, he definitely has the potential." Also, Zverev reflected on his decision to hire former world No. 3 David Ferrer as his coach.
"Yeah, I mean, we worked for a few months now. It's just somebody that I respected so much during the career and after the career, as well," Zverev said. "We said that we're going to have a trial period, and in that trial period he was so unbelievably well organized and the work has been incredible.
I enjoyed the practices. I enjoyed the practices more than I did in the last few years. "Yeah, it was a no-brainer for me. I'm happy he's joining the team, as well."