Kuznetsov vs. Nadal
|Date & Time||Friday September 2, 2016, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Rafael Nadal and Andrey Kuznetsov meet in the third round of the 2016 US Open.
Rafael Nadal is coming off a straight sets win over Andreas Seppi that took 25 games to decide. Nadal has yet to lose a set this tournament and has lost a combined 13 games in his first two matches. Nadal had some issues with his serve in his last match and you have to wonder if his wrist is going to hold up the longer he gets into this tournament. However, the good news is Nadal has finished his points quickly and should have plenty in the tank moving forward in terms of him being fatigued. Nadal hopes to get to the fourth round of a grand slam for the first time since last years French Open. Nadal has won seven of his last 10 matches on hard court.
Andrey Kuznetsov is coming off a straight sets win over Albert Ramos-Vinolas that took 35 games to decide. Kuznetsov has played seven sets this tournament and that includes a couple of tiebreaks, so he could have trouble if this match drags out longer than three sets. Still, Kuznetsov has made the shots when he’s needed most and has been solid with his service game, which gives him a chance in this match if that keeps up. Kuznetsov has two career wins over top-10 players, including one this season over Stan Wawrinka. Kuznetsov has made the fourth round of a grand slam just once in his career, which was this year's Australian Open. Kuznetsov has split his last eight matches on hard court.
These two have played three times in the past and Nadal has won all of the matches, two of which in straight sets. The most recent match was in this year's Madrid Masters, a match Nadal won in 18 games. This will be the second match on hard court.
Nadal has had little trouble against Kuznetsov in the few times they’ve played and has been able to finish points quickly despite concerns with his wrist. As long as Nadal doesn’t have a flare up injury wise, he should be able to win this match.
I’ll take Nadal in three sets.