Rafael Nadal looks to bounce back from his shock loss in Madrid on Wednesday when he plays Damir Dzumhur for a place in the third round in Rome. Nadal lost his spot as No.1 thanks to the quarter final defeat in Madrid but can go back to the top spot if he goes all the way this week.
Having beaten Dominic Thiem for the loss of just two games earlier in the season, his defeat to the Austrian came as a major shock in Madrid. However, he isn’t too concerned of the impact the straight sets loss will have on his chances for the French Open and beyond. “The defeat of last week will not go against my possibilities in Roland Garros.” he said. “But, of course, it’s better to win all the matches. Not because I won more I have more pressure. Normally, it’s the opposite. When you win more, you have less pressure.”
An all-Spanish second round looked likely when the draw was made but Dzumhur stopped that with a comfortable victory over Fernando Verdasco. He was dominant on return, breaking the 34 year old a total of 6 times in his 6-3 6-1 victory. This match will be Dzumhur’s third against Nadal, with two losses to his name already. He took Nadal to three sets in Miami two years ago while losing in straights in Melbourne this year.
“I’m very happy about my comeback after the injury. And winning two tournament, now quarterfinals and here is another opportunity to play well.” he further added pre-tournament. Nadal may have suffered a minor blip in Madrid but the odds of no more clay losses this year are still overwhelmingly in his favour.
Prediction – Rafael Nadal in straight sets