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Madrid Masters 2019: Rafael Nadal vs Frances Tiafoe, Preview and Prediction

09 May 2019, 12:54 IST

Mutua Madrid Open - Day Five
Mutua Madrid Open - Day Five

Five-time Madrid Masters champion Rafael Nadal takes on the young Frances Tiafoe in a round of sixteen match at Madrid Masters.

The two have met only once previously, at this year’s Australian Open, where Nadal handed the American a straight-sets defeat. Though he lost that match rather easily, Tiafoe had an overall great run at the year’s first grand slam where he managed to reach the quarter final stage.

However his form has somewhat petered off after that. He has a very average 10-9 win – loss record this year on the ATP tour. To his credit, he keeps on fighting and it is that fighting spirit that has seen him through his first two matches at the Madrid Masters, both of which have been tight three-setters.

In his first round match, he defeated Nikoloz Basislashvili 6-7, 6-3, 6-4. Though he bounced back well after losing the first set, he was largely helped by too many unforced errors from his opponent, which included a whopping ten double faults!

In his second match, he again had to dig deep to get past Philipp Kohlschreiber. Though he won the match eventually, he must be concerned about his serving form, especially his poor returns on the second serve. He managed to win only fifty six percent of his second serve points.

In contrast, his opponent Rafael Nadal had a great opening match. Against the highly talented Canadian Felix Augur Aliassime, he won in straight sets with relative ease. Though he was broken once, overall he had a great serving day. In all, he gave away only eleven points on his serve, while winning twenty nine points on his opponent’s serve.

After his shock losses in the first two clay tournaments, Nadal must be hurting. And he would be certainly focused on the job. Regardless of come concerns about his fitness, it will take a brave man to bet against him. Another easy win expected for the king of clay.

Prediction: Rafael Nadal to win in Straight Sets

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