Two time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal will play in-form Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp in the round of sixteen on Monday, July 4th. Get the live streaming options of this Rafael Nadal v Botic van de Zandschulp match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Rafael Nadal v Botic van De Zandschulp Head-to-Head
This will be the second meeting between the players. They met at the French Open last month and Nadal prevailed in straight sets.
Nadal Finding Feet On Grass
Returning to grass after three years, the 22-time major champion did not look as assertive in his first two rounds.
Dropping a set to Francisco Cerundolo in the opener, and being a break down and two games away from a decider, the Spaniard had to claw his way back to win in four sets.
A similar trend continued in the next round against Ricardis Berankis of Lithuania where Nadal let his foot off the pedal in the third set, but put it together soon enough to win in four.
Nadal upped the ante a few notches in the third round looking considerably more ascertained on the grass with his movement and overall game.
Playing Italian Lorenzo Sonego who has a game well suited for the surface, Nadal was off the blocks in a jiffy taking the first set 6-1. The same trend continued in the second set with the second seed racing through for a 6-2 win.
Nadal got the early break in the third set but a roof closing delay caused a change in momentum as Sonego broke right after to level the set 4-4.
There was no lull for Nadal anymore, as he kept pushing on the Sonego serve to break right thereafter and serve out a straight sets win and a place in the round of 16 at Wimbledon yet again.
Van de Zandschulp Consistency Continues
Botic Van de Zandschulp is in his second full season on grass and it has been bit of a mixed bag for the otherwise vastly-improved Dutchman.
He appeared in all three tournaments he could have given the three weeks between the French Open and Wimbledon and while he did make it as far as the semifinal at the Queen’s Club competition, van de Zandschulp’s performances in the other two left a lot to desire.
At Rosmalen, van de Zandschulp went down to Emil Ruusuvuori in three sets in the first round, and then yet again, against Marcos Giron, an underdog in their opener at Mallorca, the Dutchman failed to make round two.
The Dutchman has done well to reach an overall career-high ranking of number 26 in the world and performed better than expected thus far at SW19.
Against the aging veteran grass courter Feliciano Lopez in the opener, it was straight sets for van de Zandschulp and then avenged his loss to Ruusuvuori at Rosmalen in a four setter in the second round after a disappointing opening set loss.
It was a tight start the Dutchman’s third round against the aging French veteran Richard Gasquet with them splitting the first set two sets and the third heading to a tiebreak.
But, a gritty 9-7 win in the tiebreak for van de Zandschulp saw him carry momentum into the fourth set for a convincing 6-1 win and a spot in the round of 16 for the first time at Wimbledon.
Nadal v Van de Zandschulp Prediction and Tip
This should be a closer contest than the one at Roland Garros last month. The surface suits the Dutchman, and Nadal has had his wobbles on the grass. But, it is a Rafa Nadal getting more comfortable on the surface in the second week of a major.
Some hard fought points await, but expect the number two seed to prevail in straight sets.