Rafael Nadal can move one step closer to his first title of the year with a victory in the quarter finals against Stan Wawrinka. Wawrinka is slowly moving back up the rankings and will be back in the top 30 following this event. The winner will play either Stefanos Tsitsipas or Alexander Zverev in the semis, while a well rested Novak Djokovic will likely be waiting in the final following his quarter finals bye.
Wawrinka is getting better with each week and has had a decent 2019, making at least the quarter final in four tournaments now. The Swiss will have been disappointed to have lost early in Monte Carlo but has bounced back in style with three straight sets wins, the most notable coming against Kei Nishikori. “I felt good, it was a great match,” said Wawrinka. “It was important to start well today and I’m happy with the first match… I hope it is going to click soon. I’m patient enough to know that sometimes it takes time. I do believe that I’m playing well, I’m feeling well on the court and I still have some big result inside me. So hopefully it can come sooner than later, but I’m ready to keep working the right way to get back in a better place and to win more matches.”
Nadal eased into the quarter finals with a straight sets win over Frances Tiafoe, breaking once in each set to take it 6-3 6-4. He was strong on serve once more, dropping just four points and stopped the young American on his solitary break point. “It was a tough match. I think I did a lot of things well tonight, so I’m happy with the performance and excited to be through,” Nadal said.