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Watch highlights of Kyle Edmund and Nicolas Almagro advancing on Monday at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. Watch live matches at tennistv.com. Getty Images photo.
Alexander Zverev is not looking for revenge against Rafael Nadal in Barcelona this week. But he is seeking redemption.
Still smarting from his 6-1, 6-1 loss to Nadal at last week's Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, Zverev is aware that the performance did not reflect his billing as a future World No. 1. But instead of trying to avoid Nadal for the remainder of the clay season, the German took a wild card into Barcelona in the hope of getting a quick re-match with the winner of 50 clay-court titles.
As luck would have it, eighth-seeded Zverev could meet third-seeded Nadal in the quarter-finals.
"The main reason I came here is because the draw is so strong; it's almost like another Masters 1000," Zverev said. "There's a certain Mr. Rafa Nadal in my section. Maybe some of you remember the match last week. That's in the back of my mind and to be very fair, that's a very big reason why I am here: to get another shot to be on court with him.
"That match will be in the back of my mind for sure this week. I hope I can get there and I hope he can get there as well. He's the greatest player of all time on clay... everybody knows it. He's the only active player with a court named after him. And there's a reason for all that. I want to play him, especially on the clay court. I've played him on hard court a few times and both of those were tight matches. Playing him on clay is always special."
Before last week’s Monte-Carlo blowout, Zverev had pushed Nadal to the limit in their two previous FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings. In their first meeting, at Indian Wells in 2016, ‘Sascha’ botched a routine forehand volley on match point when serving at 5-4 in the third. Nadal rallied to win the high-quality contest 6-7(8), 6-0, 7-5.
Earlier this year Zverev led the Spaniard two sets to one at the Australian Open before Nadal fought back to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-2.
Zverev opens his Barcelona campaign against veteran Spaniard Nicolas Almagro, who claimed his one victory in 15 meetings over Nadal in Barcelona in 2014. Zverev is 13-7 on the year and won his second tour-level title in Montpellier in February. He is 19th in the Emirates ATP Rankings and the leader in the Emirates ATP Race To Milan.
Watch Live On TennisTV
Watch Full Match Replays
Deep in the corner, Nicolas Almagro slaps a forehand Hot Shot winner past Steven Diez on Monday at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.
Rafael Nadal talks about his Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters title and a historic honour he has received in Barcelona. Watch live matches at tennistv.com.
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