Rafael Nadal looks to make the semi finals for the second year running, signalling a return to form at the event after a number of shock loses at Wimbledon. He will face Sam Querrey for a spot in the final four, who is in the quarter finals for the third time in four years.
There hasn’t been much for Querrey to shout about this year but the grass has energised him, with two great tournaments so far. He followed his final appearance at Eastbourne with at least a quarter final here, in large part down to his stunning serving. He has been broken just once in four matches and has over 100 aces already. He hit 25 more in his 6-4 6-7 7-6 7-6 win over Tennys Sandgren. Despite not playing for over two months prior to Eastbourne, he doesn’t look like he has missed a step.
Nadal outplayed Joao Sousa to get to this stage, breaking twice in each set for a 6-2 6-2 6-2 win over the Portuguese player. Having navigated the tricky Kyrgios matchup in round two, Nadal looks to be solidly in form as tougher matches await in the second half of this week. “It was a good solid match, the second serve didn’t work as well as two days ago, but the rest was very positive,” Nadal said “I am happy to be where I am, the body is holding well and I’m playing some good tennis.”
“When he plays well, he can be very, very dangerous on all surfaces, but of course, on fast surfaces, when he serves with his aggressive game, [he is] maybe more [dangerous].” Nadal said of Querrey. Querrey will need to serve lights out again to have any chance of victory. He won their previous meeting in straight sets back in 2017 at Acapulco but has lost the four prior, dating back to 2016. If the show courts are as slow as many suggest, that is bound to play in Nadal’s favour in comparison to the outer courts where Querrey has been dominating.
Prediction – Rafael Nadal in straight sets