Rafael Nadal vs. Nikoloz Basilashvili
|Date & Time||Sunday September 2, 2018, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Nikoloz Basilashvili and Rafael Nadal meet in the fourth round of the 2018 tennis US Open.
Nikoloz Basilashvili is coming off a four sets win over Guido Pella that took 39 games to decide. In the victory, Basilashvili won 67 percent of his first serve points and 53 percent of his second serve points. Basilashvili won 62 percent of his total service points and saved six of his 10 break points. Basilashvili has won nine of his 13 sets played this tournament, which is impressive for a player who has little to no grand slam success and doesn’t play his best on hard court. If Basilashvili will continue this grand slam run, he must clean up his play overall, as he’s combined for 89 unforced errors in his last two matches. Basilashvili has a chance to make his first ever grand slam quarterfinal. Basilashvili has won four of his last six matches on hard court.
Rafael Nadal is coming off a four sets win over Karen Khachanov that took 50 games to decide. In the victory, Nadal won 71 percent of his first serve points and 61 percent of his second serve points. Nadal won 67 percent of his total service points and saved six of his 11 break points. Nadal was tested in every set of the victory and the 4:25 time limit was his longest match ever in the US Open. Nadal can clean up some of the unforced errors, and he’s served well heading into that match, so I’m not completely worried about one match where he didn’t play his best. As long as the wear and tear doesn’t play a huge role, Nadal should be fine moving forward. Nadal hopes to make the quarterfinals of a grand slam for the seventh time in his last eight tries. Nadal also looks for his seventh US Open quarterfinal in his last nine appearances. Nadal has won 12 of his last 13 matches on hard court.
These two have played once, which was in the 2017 French Open, a match Nadal won in straight sets. The match took 19 games to be decided.
Nadal was tested in his last match, but conditioning with the Spaniard has never been in question, as he practices harder than most people play, so I’m not worried much in that department. Basilashvili has no grand slam success outside of a couple victories here and there, and he’s been an unforced error machine. Not to mention these two played three sets about a year and a half ago and Basilashvili won one game.
This should be a much easier straight sets win for the defending champ.