Rome ruler Zverev backs Nadal for French Open

Rafael Nadal (Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal (Getty Images)

Rome - Alexander Zverev refused to back himself to add a maiden Grand Slam to his first Masters crown on Sunday, insisting Rafael Nadal remained the man to beat at the French Open.

Zverev, 20, stunned world No 2 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-3 in the Rome Masters final to put himself firmly in the frame as a potential champion at Roland Garros when the second major of the year starts in Paris next Sunday.

"No, the favourite is still definitely Rafael Nadal. Strong favourite," said German star Zverev.

"And the others, the rest, it's going to be quite open. I think Novak is playing quite great again. Dominic (Thiem) has been showing he's been playing very, very well.

"I just won here. So I've got to put me on that list even though, you know, I don't want to sound like I want to say that I'm the favourite myself or something like this."

Nadal is going for a 10th French Open title while Djokovic is the defending champion.

Zverev reached the third round in Paris in 2016 in what was just his second appearance at Roland Garros.

This year he will go to the tournament as the new world number 10.

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