Rafael Nadal‘s friendly opening week continues on Sunday when he takes on qualifier Sebastian Korda to make the quarter-finals for a fourteenth time in Paris. Korda, son of 1992 finalist Petr, is one of the stories of this tournament after his impressive run. The winner of this one will play the victor of an intriguing match between Jannik Sinner and Alexander Zverev.
Watch the Nadal vs Korda Live Stream Here.
2018 Australian Open Boys champion Korda’s run does seem to have come out of nowhere with no suggestion he was ready to make his mark on the clay. He is yet to make the top 200 and was rising up the rankings on the basis of his hard court performances rather than clay. It hasn’t been the toughest draw for him but he has to be applauded for the fairly routine nature of his wins against Andreas Seppi, John Isner and Pedro Martinez.
Nadal continued his blitzing of weak opposition on Friday, easing past Stefano Travaglia 6-1 6-4 6-0 in just over an hour and a half. He was dominant in all aspects of the game including a brutally efficient 6/7 on break point chances. “I went on court with the highest respect, just with the goal to play my best. [Today, I made] a step forward in a lot of ways. I think he played a great second set [that] was close. I was able to find a way [and I am] happy for that.” he said.
Much of the coverage surrounding this match has been around Korda’s early fandom and idolising of Nadal. It should be all professional once the pair are on court but it is just going to be a matter of how long his tennis lesson is. Nadal continues to improve as the tournament goes onand is just not going to get challenged until his likely semi final with Dominic Thiem. “I played more aggressive than the previous days so I am very happy for that. I went to the net more often and I hit quite a lot of winners, my serve is working better. So let’s see. I need to keep going and hope to keep improving with every single day.” he said.
Prediction – Rafael Nadal in straight sets