Rafael Nadal can move closer to a second straight Wimbledon semi final with victory on Monday afternoon. He plays Joao Sousa for a spot in the quarter finals, where the winner will be up against an American. Sam Querrey seems the more likely option but Tennys Sandgren will seek to pull off the shock win.
Sousa was as high as No.28 a few years back but finds himself outside the top 70 right now, although that will change after this event. He has now made it to the third round or better in three of his last four slams, having made it to the third round in Australia and fourth in New York. He hasn’t been the beneficiary of weak draw this fortnight, instead beating a former finalist in Marin Cilic and now Dan Evans to make it this far. The win over Evans was impressive, given he came from a set and break down to eventually win in 5 sets.
After his drama filled win over Nick Kyrgios, it was a far less stressful time for Nadal against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. It could have been a potentially dangerous match but an early break set the tone for Nadal, who never faced a break point during his 6-2 6-3 6-2 win. “I played a solid match. I played a good quality of tennis. Honestly, I felt very comfortable this afternoon out there, I think [in the] second round I played little bit better than the first round. Today I played better than in the second round.” Nadal said afterwards.
Having faced two players who had the potential to overpower him and dominate on serve, Nadal will be pleased to be up against an opponent who will be content to stick at the baseline rather than take the game to his opponent. The third seed is pleased with his form so far but knows there is room for improvement. “I know I have been serving well. But for my side it’s not only about the serve. I need to continue the point well with my forehand and backhand,” Nadal said.
Prediction – Rafael Nadal in straight sets