R16 play kicks-off in a few hours and Nadal has Schwartzman (the poor man’s Rafa I suppose), who had one-of-the-best or the best ROS on tour last year, and figures to be as good a R16 match-up for Nadal as any (seriously, who would be the best match-up with Nadal on this surface at this point? Yeah, I agree, but he’s practicing on grass at the moment).
I hope Diego has some extra fire-power to make this more than a continual embarrassment for the tour. I’m hearing mainstream (New York Times) writers say this is, essentially, garbage that no one can stand-up Nadal (a blogger like me survives on such honesty, but most people stand or sit around and pop champagne or pour more sangria with each passing 6-2 set that goes the way of Rafael: Sad!).
After Schwartzman, Nadal will face the winner of Thiem v Coric. Unless tomorrow is a new day and Thiem has found some kind of strategy by then, starting with court positioning, I like Coric to find that QF. Thiem looks stressed and as I’ve said three million times, way too far back. If one says Nadal is back too, that’s on the ROS. Apples and oranges. Thiem’s one-hander and his immature swing-for-the-fences from the “dungeon” look futile. I love the kid, but his tennis needs to mature.
Let’s see a
cocky confident Coric face Nadal in that first QF.
I’m not kidding when I say that Del Potro may have the easiest route to the SF. I could eat my words if his lack of clay fitness bites him, but he should win tomorrow and the QF against either the German or S. African. Get to the SF, Juan. Appreciate it.
In the next quarter we have Goffin v Edmund and Shapovalov v Raonic.
Goffin should advance. Edmund is having a nice 2018, but Goffin is the more experienced and the better clay court player. Don’t disappoint, David.
I would love to see Denis get this win, but Milos is just out-hitting these younger players. You have to give him credit. I watched a bit of the end of Raonic v Dimitrov. Grigor is a mess. But I digress.
Raonic should over-power and out-smart Denis, but the lefty getting through would be pretty nifty.
In that bottom QF-to-be, Sascha should be tested by the Argentine and Cuevas should give Isner a good work-out, perhaps beat him. A Cuevas v Mayer QF would be sweet, a little of that S. American clay adept one-handed (potential) genius.
I like this final four:
- Rafa v Borna
Juan v Phillip
- David v Milos
Pablo v Sascha
Enjoy tomorrow’s R16 matches!