Rafael Nadal reacts to losing to Alexander Zverev in Madrid

Former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal showed his class after losing to Alexander Zverev as he congratulated the German on his big win.

Zverev, ranked at No. 6 in the world, claimed a shock 6-4 6-4 win over Nadal to make the Madrid Masters semifinal. 

Nadal was up by 4-2 in the first set before Zverev claimed back-to-back breaks to overturn the deficit and steal the opener.

Zverev then broke Nadal in the fifth game of the second set and routinely held on to his serve to book a straight-set win. 

“I had the match under control at the beginning, playing well for six games, probably playing better than him,” Nadal said, per the ATP website. “In the 4-2 [game], serving for 5-2, I [had] a disaster. Another bad game with my game [from] 30/0. Of course, playing against one of the best players of the world, under these circumstances, with this speed of the court, [it] is very difficult to still [feel] confident. I tried, [but it] is true that the serve was difficult to control today. Well done [to] him.”

Zverev was thrilled after beating Nadal

“[It is] definitely one of the biggest wins of my career so far, especially on clay against Rafa. It is the toughest thing to do in our sport,” Zverev said in his post-match interview. “Beating him in his house, in Spain, is incredible but the tournament is not over yet.”

Zverev will fight next against No. 3 seed Dominic Thiem, who recovered from a set down to beat big-serving American John Isner. 

“I know that I can do it [against Dominic],” Zverev said. “Everyone remembers the US Open final that we played. I remember it certainly and it is still going to be in the back of my mind when we play tomorrow. I am looking forward to the match.”

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