French Open Day 9 Preview
The best day of the tournament so far could be ahead of us of day 9. Day 8 gave us Z\verev, Thiem and Djokovic all making it to the quarter finals. Here is what’s in store for us in the conclusion of the 4th round.
Nadal vs Marterer
After Nadal’s utter domination of Richard Gasquet, a perennial top 30 player, he now perhaps faces a more dangerous opponent in the unknown 21-year-old German Maximillian Marterer. The two have unsurprisingly never played each other, so it may take Nadal to begin to impose himself in this match.
Marterer has been on an incredibly impressive run in recent weeks. Having beaten Gael Monfils in Lyon just before the start of Roland Garros, he has gone on a spectacular 3 match winning streak to reach this stage of the tournament, even beating fellow young gun Dennis Shapovalov.
However, Marterer will now being going up against a whole new level of opponent in Nadal, who has been looking highly impressive in his way to this stage, and Marterers run will end here, against the toughest tennis in perhaps the history of tennis; Facing Nadal at Roland Garros. Nadal is not in the mood to lose games, let alone 3 sets.
Prediction- Nadal wins in 3 sets.
Cilic vs Fognini
The most interesting matchup of the day, number 3 seed Cilic has largely slipped under the radar at Roland Garros this year, but he has been steadily making it through the draw up to this stage. Cilic is a finalist at 2 of the last 3 grand slams, and surely it is only a matter of time before the former US open champion adds to his collection.
However, Clay is Cilic’s worst surface, while for his opponent, Fabio Fognini, clay is his most preferred. Because of his many antics, the quality of Fognini on this surface is often ignored. Fognini is one of the only active players beaten Nadal twice on clay. Because of the ability of the Spaniard, Success against Nadal is often a benchmark of a player’s quality on this surface. Fognini certainly passes in this aspect.
A matchup between these two is a difficult one to predict. The two have not played since 2011, and both have beaten the other once on clay. The x factor in this match is Fognini. If he is on form, I believe there is no one in the world that can stay with the Italian, Nadal or not. However, the real question is for how long Fognini can keep this level up. The consistency of Cilic may well be capable of riding out the Fognini wave. But, Fognini will want this one badly, and his level should be high for at least most of the match.
Prediction- Fognini wins in 5 sets.
Del Potro vs Isner
It’s a battle of the big servers in a showdown of some of the hardest hitting players on the tour. Apart from the first set of his first match, del Potro has been playing excellently and building up momentum throughout the tournament. Meanwhile, Isner has worked harder, but still played impressive tennis to make the 4th round.
Del Potro owns a 6-4 record against Isner, but the American has had the more recent success, winning the last two, including one in Miami earlier this year. However, in the biggest tournaments, the biggest champions step up their games to a whole new level. Del Potro is one of these, and over a best of 5 match, he should be able to wear down the big American.
Prediction-del Potro wins in 4 sets