Taylor Fritz and Rafael Nadal are looking to join Cameron Norrie and Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon semi-finals, in what should be an interesting matchup as the second match on Centre Court. It is the third meeting between the two, with the pair having split finals so far – the most recent of which was at Indian Wells this year.
Nadal looks to have settled in at Wimbledon now, looking much improved in his last two matches. He was always in charge during the 6-4 6-2 7-6 win against Botic van de Zandschulp, even if things got nervy near the end as the prospect of a fourth set loomed. “I continued in a positive way,” he said. “I think, until the end [when] I played a bad game at 5-3, [it] had been a very positive match against a difficult opponent.”
Fritz has had a gift of a draw to make the quarter finals but has done a professional job with it, not dropping a set across four matches. He hasn’t been completely unbreakable during the tournament but has been very solid, most recently winning against Jason Kubler 6-3 6-1 6-4 to advance to this stage. He is averaging 14 aces on the tournament, with that number only looking much smaller due to the ease of his wins.
Fritz has been on the verge for a while but now looks like he is ready to take a crack at being a consistent Top 10 player sooner rather than later. He should build on his first Masters 1000 title and a first slam quarter final this year with further achievements. A win against Nadal would rubberstamp that. Fritz will be a step up from the opponents Nadal has played so far, able to maintain a high level and serve bigger for more consistent periods of time. The American is on an eight match winning streak on grass and should be less fearful after his win earlier in the year.
Prediction – Taylor Fritz in five sets