Rafael Nadal bounced back from his disastrous Cincinnati loss to Borna Coric on Monday by seeing off Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin in routine fashion, winning 6-1 6-4 6-2 in just over two hours. Nadal protected his serve well, dropping it just once on his way to victory. Check out the Nadal vs Seppi H2H.
Nadal’s opponent in round two is Andreas Seppi, who had a slightly more difficult time in his opener. He needed four sets to see off the Frenchman Stephane Robert 6-2 3-6 6-4 6-3, breaking seven times in the win. Seppi had ended a poor recent run of form that saw him lose four of his last five matches, including one against Nadal at the Olympics.
Nadal defeated the Italian without dropping serve in Rio, winning 6-3 6-3 on his way to the semi finals. It was the eighth meeting between the two and the seventh won by Nadal – the sole Seppi victory coming all the way back in 2008.
He talked about his injury issues and the difficulties with going without matches for such a long period mid season. “It is not easy to go two months-and-a-half out of competition in the middle of the season without hitting a forehand. I need to have the confidence again with my wrist. That is coming, because I feel the wrist much better, and every day feel that the wrist a little bit better.”
It’s fair to say that Denis Istomin is not going to provide much of a real test for Nadal to see what level he is at. It is debatable whether Seppi can offer that threat or whether he may have to wait a few rounds for that. Roberto Bautista-Agut is a likely fourth round opponent and may be a danger but it seems unlikely the winner of Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Andrey Kuznetsov will spring a shock in round three.
Prediction – Rafael Nadal in straight sets
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