Rafael Nadal has made it into the third round of the 2019 ATP Indian Wells Open in California. At this stage of the tournament, Rafa will play against Diego Schwartzman from Argentina.
Diego Schwartzman is known as one of the strongest returners on the tour and he lived up to that reputation in the previous round as he won 5 return games. Schwartzman won in straight sets in a match where he won 55% of his receiving points and 63% of his return games. It has been a decent few weeks for Diego Schwartzman as he made the final of the ATP Argentina Open prior to arriving at Indian Wells. This is going to be a very tough match for Schwartzman as he is playing one of the top players in the world.
Looking at Rafael Nadal, the Spaniard had an emphatic win in the previous round against Jared Donaldson. During the match, Rafa only lost 2 games meaning that he finished the task promptly. Nadal showed his skill during the win by winning 100% of his service games while breaking Jared Donaldson’s serve on 5 occasions. Nadal looks fit and in good form which is going to make him very tough to stop in this tournament.
Diego Schwartzman and Rafael Nadal have played each other 6 times in the past with Nadal winning on all 6 occasions. The most recent match between these two players was in 2018 during the Davis Cup where Rafa won in straight sets. In the 6 matches, Schwartzman has only won 1 set off Rafa.
Taking everything into consideration, I am going to pick Rafael Nadal to win this match. Nadal is a much stronger player and the Spaniard seems too good for Schwartzman every time they meet. Nadal is the better player and I see him going through to the next round.