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Roland Garros: Rafael Nadal vs Egor Gerasimov preview, head-to-head & prediction | French Open 2020

Rafael Nadal bites the Coupe des Mousquetaires.
Rafael Nadal bites the Coupe des Mousquetaires.
Rudra Biswas
ANALYST
Modified 28 Sep 2020, 11:29 IST
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Match details:

Fixture: Rafael Nadal vs Egor Gerasimov

Date: 28 September 2020

Tournament: Roland Garros 2020

Round: First round (Round of 128)

Venue: Paris, France

Category: Grand Slam

Surface: Red clay

Prize money: Approx. €38,000,000

Match timing: Approx. 6 pm CEST, 9.30 pm IST

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Live telecast: USA - NBC Sports / Tennis Channel | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP

Also check out: The Complete French Open 2020 Schedule 


Rafael Nadal vs Egor Gerasimov preview

Rafael Nadal at a practice session.
Rafael Nadal at a practice session.

12-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal will return to Grand Slam action for the first time since January when he takes on Belarus' Egor Gerasimov in his first-round match at Roland Garros.

The World No. 2 did not play any exhibition matches during the pandemic and opted out of the 2020 US Open to prepare for the two European clay tournaments this year - the Rome Masters and the French Open. However, Nadal was rusty in his comeback at the Italian Open, where he suffered a shocking loss to Argentina's Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinals.

That said, Rafael Nadal is still the favorite to win a record-extending 13th title in Paris. In fact, he hasn't lost a match there since withdrawing in the middle of the event in 2016.

Nadal has not had a lot of tournaments to settle into his rhythm this time, but a perfect 16-0 record in opening round matches will give him an edge on the terre-battue.

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World No. 83 Egor Gerasimov, meanwhile, will be making his debut at Roland Garros on Monday. The Belarusian enjoys playing on faster courts though, where he can utilize his big serve and flat groundstrokes.

Gerasimov's best result on clay this year was a semifinal finish at the Shymkent Challenger in May.

Rafael Nadal vs Egor Gerasimov head-to-head

Rafael Nadal has never lost a first-round match at Roland Garros
Rafael Nadal has never lost a first-round match at Roland Garros

The first-round match in Paris will be the first-ever career meeting between Rafael Nadal and Egor Gerasimov, so the head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.

Rafael Nadal vs Egor Gerasimov prediction

Egor Gerasimov
Egor Gerasimov

The 34-year-old Rafael Nadal hasn't lost a completed match at the French Open since 2015, having had a career resurgence since then.

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Nadal has terrorized opponents on the dirt with his heavy forehand and versatility from the backhand corner. He also has the ability to keep his opponents at bay with his intelligent shot selection, never allowing them to settle into a rhythm.

The only worry for Nadal during his first-round match might be Egor Gerasimov's power hitting. The Belarusian has a punishing serve and huge groundstrokes, reminiscent of Daniel Brands - who ran Nadal close seven years ago in his opening match.

Nadal had to dig deep to win that match in four sets, and will be wary of Gerasimov. But the conditions will also likely influence the match; if there is moisture or rainfall it will be harder to hit through the court, so in this case Nadal would be at an advantage.

Prediction: Rafael Nadal to win in straight sets.


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Published 26 Sep 2020, 21:52 IST
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