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

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal
Modified 30 Sep 2020

Match details

Fixture: Rafael Nadal vs Mackenzie McDonald

Date: 30 September 2020

Tournament: Roland Garros 2020

Round: Second round (Round of 64)

Venue: Paris, France

Category: Grand Slam

Surface: Red clay

Prize money: Approx. €38,000,000

Match timing: Approx. 3 pm CEST, 6.30 pm IST


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

Also check out: The Complete French Open 2020 Schedule 

Rafael Nadal vs Mackenzie McDonald preview

The King of Clay returned to his kingdom with a commanding victory on Monday, sweeping aside Egor Gerasimov in the first round of the 2020 French Open. Nadal will now take on Mackenzie McDonald in the second round.

There were murmurs in the tennis fraternity that Gerasimov could cause some difficulty to Rafael Nadal in these cold and damp conditions given his big-hitting game. However, the Spaniard put those ideas to rest with a ruthless display against the Belarusian.

Rafael Nadal came out firing on all cylinders in what was a remarkable adjustment to the conditions that are largely unfavorable to him. There was a visible improvement to his game compared to what we witnessed in Rome.

The forehand and serve were operating at a very high level, reminding everyone of just how good the Spaniard is on this surface. Rafael Nadal also displayed some sublime variety, especially on his backhand wing, to leave Gerasimov flat-footed every now and then.

The Mallorcan’s next opponent, Mackenzie McDonald, overcame Steven Diez in his first-round match. The 25-year-old American won his very first main draw match at Roland Garros earlier on Monday and will now play his biggest match ever at this Grand Slam event.

Mackenzie McDonald
Mackenzie McDonald

The French Open is the first clay-court tournament that the American is playing this year. As such, he could be a bit undercooked coming into his match against Rafael Nadal.

That said, even the best of players can find themselves ill at ease against the Spaniard on the claycourts of Paris, even with the best of preparations. Should the result of this match be unfavorable to Mackenzie McDonald, he will still no doubt have a lot to learn from the greatest claycourter of all time.

Rafael Nadal vs Mackenzie McDonald head-to-head

The head-to-head between Rafael Nadal and Mackenzie McDonald is currently at 0-0 as the players are yet to face each other on the tour.

Rafael Nadal vs Mackenzie McDonald prediction

The American is a pretty decent player and has several strong areas that help him put up a tough fight against most players. However, Rafael Nadal is not one of those players.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

Even though Mackenzie McDonald boasts of a good serve and forehand, he lacks the extra bit of power that can potentially trouble the Spaniard. The King of Clay would likely have no problems on the defensive side of things on Wednesday.


The American has a rather inconsistent second serve too, which often costs him points. McDonald will no doubt have to improve that aspect of his game if he doesn’t want Nadal to walk all over him.

The best level of most players is usually not enough against Rafael Nadal, especially on clay. That's pretty much the situation in this match-up, and we can expect a straightforward win for the Spaniard.

Prediction: Rafael Nadal to win in straight sets.

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Published 29 Sep 2020, 12:08 IST
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