Roger Federer Rafael Nadal combo

‘Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are perfection’ – Alexander Zverev compares himself to legends

Alexander Zverev overcame compatriot Daniel Altmaier in straight sets to advance to the second round, with his comments following the match showering praise on Roger Federer and fellow Australian Open competitor Rafael Nadal. 

Despite the three-set scoreline, it was by no means easy for Zverev as the German won 7-6 (7-3), 6-1, 7-6 (7-1).

The third seed admitted that while he did not show his best form on the night, he was happy to be through.

“Not much went to plan today to be honest except that I won,” he said in his on-court interview.

“But that’s how it is sometimes. It’s the first round of hopefully a very long tournament.

“You’re not always going to play your best tennis, except if you’re Roger [Federer] or Rafa [Nadal] you always come out and you’re always perfection.

“But I’m not like them. So it was a good match for me to get into the tournament, hopefully the next one will be better.”

Next up Zverev faces home talent John Millman in what will be a third career meeting between the two men.

While Zverev won their first two encounters, the pair did play out a five-set Roland Garros epic that lasted over four hours in 2019, a tie the German acknowledged in his interview, though he was slightly off on the duration of the match.

“I’ve played [Millman] a few times. I played him once at the French Open which was five and a half hours and five sets.

“He’s a very difficult player to beat, especially in Australia.

“I think everybody remembers the epic match that he played here against [Federer].”

Millman famously defeated Federer in the third round of the 2020 Australian Open in five sets.


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