Rafael Nadal becomes the 11th player in the Open Era to play 1000 ATP World Tour singles matches on Sunday when he faces Philipp Kohlschreiber on Sunday. Nadal joins David Ferrer and Roger Federer as the players still present on tour to manage this feat.
Nadal had the misfortune to bump into Roger Federer as early as the round of 16, losing to Federer for the second time this year – in straight sets this time. It was felt the conditions would benefit Nadal greatly but they did little to help with Federer dominating the match, facing just 1 break point in a routine 6-2 6-3 victory. Nadal is a 4 time losing finalist in Miami and will be amongst the favourites to make it there again from the bottom half of the draw.”I think I was four times in the final. Probably I should win the first one (led 2 sets to 0 over Roger Federer in 2005.”
Meanwhile, Kohlschreiber improved to 10-6 on the year with victory over Taylor Harry Fritz in his opening match. He was made to fight hard for it by the young American, who really should have won given he held a double break lead of 5-2 in the third set. It went to a final set tiebreak and it would be the German who came out on top, reeling off the final three points of the match to take the tiebreak 7-4.
Kohlschreiber has lost 26 straight tour matches to top 10 players, last winning in 2014 against the then No.9 Richard Gasquet in Rotterdam. Given his 1-13 record against Nadal, it would be a major shock if that streak did not extend to 27. The next round looks something of a gimme for a Nadal too with Grigor Dimitrov’s early exit meaning that either Nicolas Mahut or Guido Pella will be waiting in the 4th round.
Prediction – Nadal in straight sets