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Medvedev says Nadal at higher level than Madrid, Rome after practice loss

Daniil Medvedev and Rafael Nadal played a practice set "and then some," the Russian said, while recognising Alexander Zverev is still the favourite ahead of the first round at the French Open.

Daniil Medvedev told the media in Paris ahead of the French Open he is relieved to not be playing Rafael Nadal in the first round, after losing to the Spaniard in practice.

Nadal will play Alexander Zverev in the first round at the French Open, with many predicting it will be his last match there, given his impending retirement and the magnitude of the task against the Italian Open winner.

But Medvedev had some good news for those hoping for a prolonged stay for Nadal in Paris.

"We played a set and then some and he beat me. I'm not ashamed to say that I'm happy not to be the one facing him in the first round."

The world number five also said he saw some improvements in Nadal's level compared to Madrid, where the 22-time Grand Slam winner lost in the fourth round to Jiri Lehecka, and Rome, where the Spaniard was comprehensively beaten by Hubert Hurkacz.

"Yesterday I saw him well," Medvedev continued. "Much better than in Madrid and Rome, but training and playing are two different things."

Who's winning?

  • Nadal

  • Zverev

While recognising "Rafa will always be Rafa here," in reference to Nadal's 14 French Open titles and 112-3 win-loss record at Roland Garros, Medvedev still sees Zverev as the favourite in the opening round clash.

"It will be interesting to see him against Zverev," Medvedev said. "He may not be the favourite, but he can win."

A journalist apologised as the reporter asked another question about Nadal, but Medvedev said "No problem. It's normal."

"It is a great event to play against Rafa at Roland Garros."

Medvedev begins his French Open campaign against the German Dominik Koepfer.


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