Rafael Nadal’s uncle and former coach Toni Nadal thinks that Alexander Zverev is a better player than his nephew.
He said that Nadal is a strong player on the dirt surfaces but he thinks the 21-year-old German would beat Nadal on hard surface.
Zverev is a very good player, he is the world No 3,” Toni said.
“His best surface is, in my eyes, the hard court, because he moves better than he does on clay, even if he won big titles like Rome.
“Rafa is definitely better (than Zverev) on clay, but Zverev is already a little bit more dangerous on hard.
“Who can beat Nadal on clay? Dominic Thiem as the main rival, and other names: David Goffin, Juan Martin del Potro and Nick Kyrgios, but he has elbow issues.
“Same thing for Novak Djokovic.”
When it comes to Roger Federer, Toni is not as confident. He says that despite being a good player, Federer cannot come to Nadal’s levels. Federer who skipped the entire clay season will not be able to prove Toni wrong in the upcoming French Open.
“I don’t know if Rafa misses Roger for clashes on clay,” Toni added.
“But it’s clear: Rafa would definitely be the favourite on clay.
“Federer wants to save his energy for the grass-court season, which worked well last year and made him stay injury-free.”
So according to Uncle Toni, we clearly have a winner; Alexander Zverev. Hopefully, the German takes heed of Toni’s encouraging words and bounces back during the French Open to beat Nadal.
The French Open is still clay court season, meaning it’s still Nadal’s best and most comfortable surface. But Zverev being in the top 3 could also beat Nadal on his favourite surface.
The French Open begins later this month. We will be looking forward to a strong playoff between Nadal and Zverev.