Rafael Nadal (Player Profile) is playing at an outstanding level this year on this surface and seems to have a good chance to claim his second US Open title. In the first three rounds, Rafa has produced some great tennis, especially on serve. No one has been able to break Nadal’s serve in this tournament so far and his forehand has been devastating.
Kohlschreiber (Player Profile) has never reached the quarter-finals in New York, he is an amazing shot maker who can do everything on court and will be coming into the match after a very good performance against John Isner, whom he defeated in four sets. In that match, Isner had a chance to take the game into the fifth set when serving at 6 – 5 in set four, but Big John failed to do so and Kohlschreiber punished him for it by breaking back and closiong out the match in the breaker.
The German has already a victory over Nadal in last year’s Halle tournament, but the Spanish wasn’t in good physical conditions and that was proved in Wimbledon with Nadal forced to stay away from the Tour for several months. The other 9 matches were all won by Nadal and this will be their third meeting in a Grand Slam (the previous two were at the Australian Open and were solved in four sets).
Kohlschreiber always tries to hit the ball early with his groundstrokes, however against Nadal’s heavy spin he will have a bit more difficulty to do so. Rafa’s game against Dodig was simply impressive – the Croatian is also playing at a very high level this year, but Nadal pulled off a great performance, winning 80% and 74% on first and second serve, only allowing Dodig to win 48% of points around the net.
I expect Kohlschreiber to lose again at this stage like it happened last year. Nadal is not only playing very aggressive off his forehand, but is also very dangerous when returning, pushing his opponents right behind the baseline. Despite Kohlschreiber’s shot making ability, this should be another easy win for the 2011 US Open champion in straight sets.
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