After a heated second round clash on Thursday, Rafael Nadal will be hoping for a less tense clash on Saturday afternoon against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Nadal will look to navigate another tricky clash before a likely less stressful outing in the next round against either Daniel Evans or Joao Sousa.
Two-time semi finalist Tsonga is unlikely to hit his previous heights but his attacking style can still work well on the grass and he should take heart from his losses in the warmup tournaments – taking both Milos Raonic and Roger Federer to the bring. To make it to the third round, he eased past Bernard Tomic and then also beating Ricardas Berankis in straight sets.
Nadal’s heated clash with Nick Kyrgios delivered like many expected, with the Spaniard coming out on top in four sets. He was huge on the big points, winning third and fourth set tiebreaks when Kyrgios had the chance to take control of the match. “Of course, victories like this help because I spent hours on court. I played under pressure. I had to do lot of things well. I was able to find a way to be through,” Nadal said.
“I have another tough opponent, Tsonga. Every match is tough. My draw is a tough one, It’s no time to relax at all. It’s just time to enjoy today because it was a good victory.” Nadal said. He is 8-4 against Tsonga although their last meeting came in 2015, where the Frenchman was still a solid top 10 players. With his career winding down, he is unlikely to have the chance to outlast Nadal but still has the quality to take a set with a bit of fortune.
Prediction – Rafael Nadal in straight sets