The round of 32 matches were loaded with several ups and downs. There were various upsets and hard fought victories for the top seeds. Federer, Wawrinka, Berdych, Ferrer, and Gasquet bowed out. Kyrgios, Chardy and Bellucci also followed. The stage is set for the following quarterfinal matches:
Match Of The Day
1. Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic
This is going be a very high intensity match, as two heavyweights are set to lock horns. Djokovic leads their head to head 25-23. He has won the past 10 of the 11 matches they’ve played against each other. He won their recent meeting on clay, the straight sets demolition at last year’s French Open. The stats seem to be heavily stacked against Nadal.
Some solace for Nadal and his fans – when talking about this year’s clay season, Rafa has outperformed Djokovic in terms of titles won. He seems far more stronger and sharper this time. Considering yesterday’s matches, which both the players won in three sets, fitness could play a part.
Djokovic won no games in the first set but turned the match around in his favour against Bellucci, someone who seemingly shouldn’t have troubled him. Nadal beat Kyrgios in three sets. He lost the first set in a tiebreak and then won the next two comfortably, against an opponent, much tougher than the one Djokovic faced. Rafa’s last win over Djokovic was back at the 2014 French Open final. This match certainly is not the one to be missed.
2. David Goffin vs Andy Murray
Goffin shocked everyone when he won against Berdych, without losing a single game. It was something that no one anticipated, probably not even Goffin himself. He walked to the net in disbelief of what he had done, as he registered a double bagel against a top 10 player. Murray played a similarly lopsided match against Chardy. He lost no games in the first set and then four in the second.
Both Goffin and Murray seem to be in a pretty strong form. If Goffin comes out like he did against Berdych, then this match will get very interesting. Murray leads their head to head by 3-0. Their last meeting came at the Davis Cup group play offs, where Murray won in straight sets.
Prediction: Murray to win the match in two sets, either of them going to a tiebreak. One would expect Goffin to give Murray a tough time, keeping in mind his performance against Berdych.
3. Kei Nishikori vs Dominic Thiem
Nishikori and Thiem have played each other just once, with Nishikori winning. This will be their first meeting on clay. Thiem will take heart from the fact that he has now beaten both Federer and Nadal on clay, this season. This will be his second ATP Masters 1000 QF and will look on to making no mistakes at all. Nishikori beat Gasquet in his previous round. He too has had a great season on clay will want to make another Masters 1000 semifinal.
Prediction: A very tough call. Both of them are playing serious tennis. I pick Thiem to win in three sets.
4. Lucas Pouille vs Juan Monaco
Both these players have caused upsets in their previous rounds, beating Ferrer and Wawrinka respectively. This loss for Ferrer meant that he drops out of the top 10 ranking for the first time since 2010. Monaco and Pouille have played against each other two times, one win apiece. Both the meetings have come on clay. Both of them will try to make their first masters semifinal.
Prediction: Monaco to win in two sets.
Thursday’s Round of 16 Results
-Vishakha Khandelwal [Vishakha is a Tennis Analyst for Sportz Cosmos. You can reach her at the gmail id : sportzcosmos]