Rome ruler Zverev backs Nadal for French Open

New Straits Times - - Sport -

ROME: Alexan­der Zverev re­fused to back him­self to add a maiden Grand Slam to his first Masters crown on Sun­day, in­sist­ing Rafael Nadal re­mained the man to beat at the French Open.

Zverev, 20, stunned World No 2 No­vak Djokovic 6-4, 6-3 in the Rome Masters fi­nal to put him­self firmly in the frame as a po­ten­tial cham­pion at Roland Gar­ros when the sec­ond ma­jor of the year starts in Paris on Sun­day.

“No, the favourite is still def­i­nitely Rafael Nadal. Strong favourite,” said Ger­man star Zverev.

“And the oth­ers, the rest, it’s go­ing to be quite open. I think No­vak is play­ing quite great again. Do­minic (Thiem) has been show­ing he’s been play­ing very, very well.

“I just won here. So I’ve got to put me on that list even though, you know, I don’t want to sound like I want to say that I’m the favourite my­self or some­thing like this.”

Nadal is go­ing for a 10th French Open ti­tle while Djokovic is the de­fend­ing cham­pion.

Zverev reached the third round in Paris in 2016 in what was just his sec­ond ap­pear­ance at Roland Gar­ros.

This year he will go to the tour­na­ment as the new World No 10. AFP

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