French Open Day 11 Preview- Quarter Finals Continued
It was an excellent start to the quarter finals, with Thiem comfortably making it past a sub par Zverev and Cecchinato shocking Djokovic in an epic 4 set match, with a thrilling tie break to end. An interesting semi-final between these two is ahead of us
Day 10 of the French Open brings us the second half of the quarter finals, between 3 established names and one surprise success. Here is what we should expect in tomorrow’s play.
Nadal vs Schwartzman
The diminutive Argentinian has had a fantastic tournament, coming back form 2 sets down to beat big serving Kevin Anderson in the 4th round and confidently beating dangerous newcomer Borna Coric one stage earlier.
However, Schwartzman will be facing whole different level of opposition in Nadal who is right now the toughest test in world tennis. The strategy used to beat Nadal that has been successful for the likes of Djokovic and Thiem is to serve accurately, go hard into the forehand, to illicit a weaker response. Nadal’s Forehand is certainly the weaker side defensively. Once this short ball is achieved, going deep into the backhand side of the Spaniard will often bear fruit.
The problem with this strategy for Schwartzman is that he does not the power, on serve, or on the ground to trouble Nadal. Too often in this match, Schwartzman will find himself on the defensive immediately after his serve, which because of his height will not have the ability to consistently hurt Nadal. With dictating play, it is only a matter of time before he begins to break the Argentines serve.
This analysis has proven itself to be correct in the history of the rivalry between the pair. Nadal owns a 5-0 record against the argentine, including two wins this season. One such was on the clay of Madrid, where Nadal comfortably won in straight sets. This is despite Madrid being Nadal’s least comfortable pf the big clay court tournaments, due to the altitude of the city, which makes the balls fly more. This result is an ominous sign for Schwartzman fans.
This is not to diminish the competency of the Argentine, he has had an excellent tournament, and besides, everyone struggles against the clay court extraordinaire, Rafa Nadal
Prediction- Nadal wins in 3 sets.
Cilic vs Del Potro.
After beating John Isner in the previous round, Del Potro will face an upgraded version of the big American in the form of Cilic. Although he has a small serve, Cilic is better off the ground, at the net, and is mentally very strong. More dangerously for Del Potro Cilic is very accustomed to the latter stages of a grand slam, making the final in 2 of the last 3. Clearly, Cilic brings out his best tennis when in really matters.
Due to the fact that both players have similar styles of game, it is surprising to see that Del Potro leads the rivalry 10-2. Del Potro has won the last 7 matches, and it would seem that he has figured out the way to play Cilic.
In my predictions for the tournament before play got under way, I thought that Cilic would beat Del Potro to make the semi-finals. However, after the watching the Argentine make his way through 4 rounds, I will revise my opinion. Del Potro started very slowly against Nicholas Mahut in his first round, losing the first set 6-1. From this point however, he has never looked back, playing exceptional tennis. He has not lost a set, and only been pushed to 5 games in any set since the first set of the tournament. When Del Potro gets on a role, he can be unplayable, and it seems like the 5th seeds game is heading that way.
Prediction- Del Potro wins in 4 sets.