Seven years removed from their first and only meeting on the ATP World Tour, Rafael Nadal will once again encounter local talent Donald Young at a Masters 1000 event. Their previous meeting, one that took place in 2008, solidified a 1-0 head-to-head series lead for the Spaniard, and he will be keen to maintain that lead en route to the fourth round.
The third seed earned a straightforward win on Sunday afternoon to advance to the third round in the American desert. He defeated Igor Sijsling 6-4, 6-2 in a match that lasted 97 minutes, and saw the Spaniard win 96% of his first service points in the process.
“He’s an aggressive player,” Nadal said of Sijsling. “I think I played well. I think I played a solid match to be the first match. I played with not many mistakes, winning a good percentage of points with my serve. One very important thing for me are the movements, and I think I moved myself a little bit quicker tonight than what I was doing one month ago.”
With his straight sets win on Sunday, Donald Young is through to the third round of the Masters 1000 event, which equals the best performance he has ever had at a tournament this size. He defeated Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 6-2 to secure his spot in the third round against the renowned former champion.
“I think [Young] improved a lot the last couple of years,” Nadal said. “He’s playing very well, winning a lot of matches. Could be a very tough opponent for me. After tomorrow, I hope to be ready for it.”
This marks just the second time that these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour, and the first time in over six years. Nadal leads the series 1-0 and will look to notch another victory in their Tuesday encounter.
Prediction: Rafael Nadal in Straight Sets
For live matches, click here: Live Tennis Scores