One of Rafael Nadal‘s many major trophies missing from his impressive resume is the Paris Masters. Rafa had his chances in the French city, but he has yet to win the famous indoor tournament, unlike Roland Garros.
Nadal was one of the title favorites in Paris in 2020 despite missing the competition the previous year due to injury. Rafa competed against Alexander Zverev in the semifinals to advance to the championship match. Nadal didn’t perform at his peak in the earlier rounds, and Zverev capitalized on that to win 6-4, 7-5.
The German defeated the 20-time Major champion to go to the final match after winning back-to-back indoor championships in Cologne. Alexander made 13 aces while thwarting two of three break attempts. A few days after claiming his 1000th ATP victory, Nadal lost his campaign in the semi-final after being broken three times.
Zverev made 18 unforced errors and 37 wins while serving well and winning 30% of all opening shots. In both brief and prolonged encounters, Zverev outplayed Nadal and remained unwavering when it counted.
After forcing an error from the 20-time Major champion in the third game of the opening set, the younger player broke at love to take a lead of 3-1 after 14 minutes. In game seven, Nadal nailed a backhand down the line winner to stay in the match and looked for some chances on the comeback.
At the 2020 Paris Masters, Alexander Zverev defeated Rafael Nadal.
Instead, Zverev finished off the tenth game in 38 minutes with a drop shot winner for 6-4. At 1-1 in the second set, Rafa blew a game point and took a break after his volley missed the net.
In game six, the Spaniard had his first two break chances, but both were lost after a few Zverev winners. In game seven, Rafa’s serve was put to the ultimate test as the German had four chances to break. After regaining his composure, Nadal erased them and held after causing the younger opponent to make a mistake.
When Zverev sprayed a forehand error at 3-4, Rafa made up for what he missed in game six by tying the match at 4-4 with his first break. In game nine, Nadal held at love for the first time to surge ahead and put pressure on the opposition.
Alexander won game eleven with an ace and earned a chance at a break after a fortunate net cord winner, feeling none of it. When Nadal‘s backhand sailed wide, he lost service, and Zverev held at game point to win the point and progress to his third consecutive ATP final.
“For me, the competition has been fruitful. Of course, I’m disappointed about the defeat, but that’s how the game is. In an effort to win the event for the first time, I spent hours on the court, but it’s never easy.
Throughout the entire event, I fought with the proper mindset in every match. I was able to play four games as a result, which is good for London “said Rafael Nadal.