2019 has not been a great season for Sascha Zverev but this was by far his best performance as he looks to defend his title in London.
There were doubts over Nadal coming into this following the abdominal injury he picked up in Paris but all noise has been he is better.
I didn’t think he dealt with the pace well and the pace Zverev generated kept pushing him back. After dropping the first set 6-2 it did look like being a quick night for Rafa who hasn’t come from a set down at the tour finals since 2015 and has only done it 3 times on 16 previous occasions.
The second set was better from Nadal but he was still leaking errors and Zverev was striking the ball much cleaner than the Spaniard. He flattened out the forehand and went after Nadal’s serve easily.
I would have liked to have seen Rafa use that backhand slice more to take some pace away from Zverev but continued to try and stick with him when he was just doing a better job.
Zverev was 0-5 coming into this one with Rafa like Stefanos was with Daniil earlier on in the day.
This now means that Zverev’s last three matches at the O2 have been;
7-5 7-6 v Roger
6-4 6-3 v Novak
6-2 6-4 v Rafa
Just the 13 winners from Nadal compared to a massive 28 from Sascha. His serve was slower averaging 118mph on the first and 98mph on the second for those on serve watch.
One of the main concerns is that even at one break of serve Rafa never created a single break point.
A lot to think about going forward!