Date: 5 May 2022
Tournament: Madrid Open 2022
Round: Third round (Round of 16)
Venue: Madrid, Spain
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Match timing: Not before 4 pm local time, 2 pm GMT, 10 am EST, 7.30 pm IST
Prize money: €6,744,165.
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video | India - Sports18 & Voot
Rafael Nadal vs David Goffin preview
Third seed Rafael Nadal will face qualifier David Goffin in the last 16 of the Madrid Open on Thursday.
The Spaniard has won 21 out of 22 matches this season, with three titles to his name, including the Australian Open.
The 35-year-old reached the final of the Indian Wells Masters in March, where his 20-match winning streak was snapped by Taylor Fritz. Nadal suffered a stress fracture in his ribs during his semi-final match, which subsequently kept him out of action for a few weeks.
After missing the Monte-Carlo Masters and the Barcelona Open, Nadal returned to action at the Madrid Open as the third seed. He beat Miomir Kecmanovic 6-1, 7-6 (4) on Wednesday to book his place in the last 16.
Meanwhile, Goffin started the season poorly, with his best run coming at the Sydney International, where he reached the quarterfinals. After a brief slump, the 31-year-old bounced back by winning his sixth career title at the Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakech last month.
Goffin reached the last 16 of the Monte-Carlo Masters, which was followed by a first-round exit at the Serbia Open at the hands of Filip Krajinovic.
The Belgian qualified for the main draw of the Madrid Open this week with wins over Jiri Vesely and Alejandro Tabilo. He beat Aslan Karatsev 6-2, 7-5 in the first round before thrashing Botic van de Zandschulp 6-4, 6-2 to reach the last 16.
Rafael Nadal vs David Goffin head-to-head
This will be the seventh meeting between the two players, with Nadal leading the head-to-head 4-2.
They previously locked horns in the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open in 2017, with the Spaniard winning 7-6(3), 6-2.
Their most recent meeting, however, went the way of the Belgian at the ATP Cup in 2020.
Rafael Nadal vs David Goffin odds
(All odds sourced from Oddschecker)
Rafael Nadal vs David Goffin prediction
Nadal will enter the match as the heavy favorite. The Spaniard did pretty well against an in-form Kecmanovic in his opener, despite having been out of action for six weeks.
Nadal produced some brilliant winners from both wings against the Serb and also approached the net quite frequently.
The one thing that the King of Clay needs to be careful about is his serve as he coughed up three double faults in his last match. Against a solid returner like Goffin, who has a potent backhand, Nadal could find himself in a spot of bother if his serve doesn't function.
The 21-time Major champion could be tested by the Belgian, but his experience should help him land a spot in the quarterfinals.
Prediction: Nadal to win in straight sets.