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2019 BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells: Rafael Nadal vs Diego Schwartzman, Preview and Prediction

11 Mar 2019, 12:40 IST

Nadal and Schwartzman at 2018 Australian Open - Day 7
Nadal and Schwartzman at 2018 Australian Open - Day 7

The second seed Rafael Nadal takes on the twenty-fifth seed Diego Schwartzman in a third-round clash at 2019 Indian Wells Masters 1000 tournament.

The two have met each other six times in the past: four times on clay and twice on outdoor hard courts. Each of those matches was won by the Spaniard. Nothing suggests that the result will be any different this time too.

However, Schwartzman is a tricky customer and a fighter, who very much like Nadal, never gives up in a match. He will need to bring all of his fighting spirit into this match if he is to have any chance of causing an upset.

He has not won a title this year, but has played some good tennis. He began the year with a semi-final showing at Sydney. His other notable performance was at the Argentina Open, where he reached the finals only to lose to Marco Cecchinato.

Being a seeded player, he received a bye in the first round at the BNP Paribas Open, and put on a commanding performance in the second round against Roberto Carballes Baena. He won in two easy sets and picked up twenty-one points more than his opponent in the match.

BNP Paribas Open - Day 7
BNP Paribas Open - Day 7

His third round opponent Rafael Nadal put on an even more commanding show in his first match of the tournament. He gave away only two games to a hapless Jared Donaldson. Remarkably, Nadal lost only nine points on his serve in the entire match.

His new and improved serve has been the talk of the tennis world since the Australian Open. He had another great day on his serve here, winning a whopping 87% on his first serve and 79% on his second serve. If one is to find any flaw in his service game, if one could call it that, it is that he could land just about 60% of his first serves in.

Being a perfectionist, and someone who always looks for new ways to improve his game, it will come as no surprise if he does even better on his serve against Schwartzman. On the evidence of his current form and his career head to head record against the Argentine, it looks set to be another easy win for the Spaniard.

Prediction: Rafael Nadal to win in Straight Sets

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