Spain's Rafael Nadal has admitted that he hopes to win the Rome Masters ahead of the French Open. On Friday, Nadal suffered a 6-4 6-4 loss to Alexander Zverev in the Madrid Masters quarterfinal. Previously this clay season, Nadal was beaten in the Monte Carlo Masters quarterfinal but then he won the Barcelona Open.
“Where the clay season stands is very simple: quarters, champion and quarters. And now comes Rome,” Nadal assessed, per the ATP website. “That's all there is. I’ve been able to reach quarter-finals in Monte-Carlo, win in Barcelona and reach quarter-finals here, and I feel like I’ve been moving forward.
“We’ll see what happens in Rome.
For me, the objective before Roland-Garros is to go to Rome and win it. That’s the truth”.
Nadal lost control.of the match against Zverev
Nadal was up 4-2 after the opening six games against Zverev, before he lost his service in back-to-back games and eventually the set.
"I had the match under control at the beginning, playing well for six games, probably playing better than him,” Nadal said. “In the 4-2 [game], serving for 5-2, I [had] a disaster. Another bad game with my game [from] 30/0.
Of course, playing against one of the best players of the world, under these circumstances, with this speed of the court, [it] is very difficult to still [feel] confident. I tried, [but it] is true that the serve was difficult to control today.
Well done [to] him”. Zverev, who made his maiden Grand Slam final at the US Open last year, was thrilled with his win over Nadal. "[It is] definitely one of the biggest wins of my career so far, especially on clay against Rafa.
It is the toughest thing to do in our sport,” Zverev said in his post-match interview. “Beating him in his house, in Spain, is incredible but the tournament is not over yet."