Van de Zandschulp takes mistakes for granted: ‘Nadal is just very eager’ | Tennis

“I think if you play too defensively, he will take the initiative. That’s why I played a little more aggressively on his second serve,” said Van de Zandschulp (26), who lost 6-4 6-2 7-6 (6) to the number 4 in the world.

„I thought he played a bit more attacking here than at Roland Garros. With every short ball or slice you hit, he takes the initiative. He’s just really eager to win every point. And he served surprisingly well, a lot better than the last matches I’ve seen of him on grass.”

Van de Zandschulp was satisfied with his level at his first appearance on the Center Court. “I thought I played a good first and a good third set. It was a shame that I was broken at 5-4 and then it ran away a little too quickly in the second set,” said Van de Zandschulp.


“He had the momentum until 5-3 in the third set and when I broke him back, the momentum shifted a bit. I started to believe more and more in my chances of taking the set.” However, at match point, the number 25 in the world missed a smash. “I have to say that I don’t normally miss a smash that quickly. It was an opportunity to go to 7-7, but it also got a bit darker. I hit him just off the line. Too bad it happened at 7-6 in the tiebreak.”

Nadal is through to the quarterfinals

Nadal is through to the quarterfinals

Despite the defeat in three sets, Van de Zandschulp had enjoyed the podium on which he stood. “The atmosphere was great and it was only at the end, when I came back, that I fully understood it. Everyone here also likes Nadal, although Roger Federer is even more popular.”

The Dutchman will only be back in action in two weeks, then at the clay tournament in Hamburg. “I can look back on a good Wimbledon and have been able to play many pots on grass. There is certainly room for improvement, for example in taking away time from my opponent. That’s not quite in my system yet, but we’re going to work hard on that again.”

23rd Grand Slam title

Van de Zandschulp had nothing but praise for his Spanish opponent. “How Nadal played today, he is the best player I’ve seen play here so far,” said the best Dutchman at the moment. “I think it will be a final between Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Djokovic can also raise his level if necessary and he is always there when the opponent demands more from him. I think Nick Kyrgios is a dangerous outsider, but he also had physical complaints. I don’t see him winning the tournament, I don’t think he’s good enough physically for that.”

Van de Zandschulp returns to the Netherlands and has some rest. „Will I still follow the tournament? Maybe, if I feel like watching. I think I will watch the final.” Nadal could win his 23rd Grand Slam title in London.

Nadal .’s response

Nadal himself was pleased with the level he achieved against Van de Zandschulp. The two-time champion at Wimbledon defeated the best Dutchman 6-4 6-2 7-6 (6). Only in the final phase was the number 4 in the world really tested. The world champion had positive words for ‘BvdZ’.

“It was a good game against a difficult player, a very good player. I was leading 6-4, 6-2 and 5-2 and that means I did a lot of things very well,” said Nadal. “In the final phase I played a bad game at 5-3 and then suddenly I was in trouble. But 90 percent of the game I played well.”

Van de Zandschulp conveys his congratulations to his opponent

Van de Zandschulp conveys his congratulations to his opponent

Nadal lives in London day by day, he said after reaching the quarter-finals. “Fortunately there is improvement in my game. I am very happy to be back in the quarter-finals after three years of not playing on grass. That’s a good result for me,” said the 22-time Grand Slam champion. “It’s not about how close I am to a certain level, I don’t know and I can’t predict what will happen. On Tuesday I will go back to the training track to start feeling better again.”

Nadal was also asked about his physical condition at the press conference, but he did not want to talk about that. “I’m kind of done talking about my body,” Nadal said when asked about the tape on his stomach. “I’m in the middle of a tournament and I have to move on. At the moment I am fit enough to keep going and fight for my goal.”

In the last eight, Nadal will face American Taylor Fritz.