Rafael Nadal vs Alexander Zverev: Rome Masters: Prediction | Preview | H2H Stats

Second seed Rafael Nadal locks horns against the in-form sixth seed Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals of the Rome Masters.

Rafael Nadal vs Alexander Zverev: Rome Masters Preview

Rafael Nadal battled past the firing 13th seed Denis Shapovalov in an epic 3-hour 27-minute thriller in the pre-quarterfinals. Shapovalov was cruising with a 6-3 3-0 lead. However, the King of Clay fought back to take the second set 6-4.

The third set too went the distance and the Spaniard saved 2 match points to drag it to a tiebreaker. The 20-time grand slam champion won his first tiebreaker in almost 1 and a half years clinching it 7-6(3) to march on to his 16th quarterfinal in the Italian capital.

Overall, Nadal claimed 65% of his first-serve points and took 58% of return points on the second serve against the young Canadian. It was also his 19th win in a row against a left-handed player.

On the other hand, Alexander Zverev registered a memorable come-from-behind victory against former World number 4 Kei Nishikori in the pre-quarters. Sascha was trailing 6-4 3-2. The German won four games in a row to grab the second set 6-3 and forced a decider.

The Next-Gen star smashed 7 aces, committed 8 double faults, and claimed 70% of his first-serve points against the Japanese Nishikori.

Rafael Nadal vs Alexander Zverev: Head to Head Record

  • Rafael Nadal leads the head to head record 5-3 against Alexander Zverev. 
  • However, the German has had the upper hand in recent times with three straight-set victories in a row against Rafa.

Sascha's first win against Nadal was in the Nitto ATP Finals in November 2019 when his power-hitting on indoor hardcourts gave him a 6-2 6-4 victory against the top seed. 

The German once again used his booming big serve (13 aces) to stun the Spanish superstar 6-4 7-5 in the semifinals of the ATP-1000 Paris Masters in November 2020. Alexander Zverev trounced the King of Clay, Rafael Nadal, in his own backyard beating him 6-4 6-4 in the Madrid Open quarterfinals last week.

Rafael Nadal vs Alexander Zverev: Rome Masters Live Stream and Match Timing

The 2021 Rome Masters Quarter Final match between Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev can be streamed live on Tennis TV YouTube channel. The match starts at 12 pm Central European Standard Time (CEST).

Rafael Nadal vs Alexander Zverev: Rome Masters: Key Insights

  • Rafael Nadal is playing his 97th ATP Masters quarterfinal in his career.
  • Alexander Zverev is a former Rome Masters champion after winning the prestigious event in 2017 when he defeated Novak Djokovic in straight sets.
  • The Spanish legend is targetting a record 10th Rome Masters title which would also level him with Djokovic's 36 ATP-1000 trophies.
  • Rafa is the defending champion after winning the ATP-1000 Rome Masters in 2019 when he beat Djokovic in 3 sets in the finals.
  • Rafael Nadal beat Alexander Zverev in three sets in the finals of the Rome Masters in 2018.

Rafael Nadal vs Alexander Zverev: Game Analysis

Rafael Nadal was completely off-colour in the first half of the match against Shapovalov. He struggled against the Next-Gen star's scintillating shotmaking (a big serve and a powerful forehand). 

Though Alexander Zverev would have been pleased with his fighting spirit after a terrific turnaround against Nishikori, he would be drained of energy. The German spent a whopping 2 hours and 53 minutes on the court in the round of 16.

zverev vs nadal
Will Zverev get back-to-back victories against Nadal? or will the King of Clay give the German a taste of his own medicine? Image Credits - First Sportz

Rafael Nadal would look to call the shots by controlling the pace from the baseline. Alexander Zverev will once again rely on his rocket first-serve and cross-court forehand to do the job. The German will have to reduce his count of double faults to avoid giving away points easily to the 20-time grand slam champion.

Nadal would have noted down his mistakes after last week's tough loss to Sascha in Madrid and will aim to iron out his faults. 

Being a 9-time champion in here and the conditions more favourable than the high-altitude based Caja Magica, Rafael Nadal would pull off a revenge victory in another edge-of-the-seat thriller.

Prediction - Rafael Nadal to win in three sets against Alexander Zverev in the Quarter-Final tie of the Rome Masters 2021

Featured Image Credits - Getty Images

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