2019 Italian Open – Nikoloz Basilashvili vs Rafael Nadal Preview & Prediction

AT A GLANCE

Where is Nikoloz Basilashvili vs Rafael Nadal taking place? Foro Italico, Rome

When is Nikoloz Basilashvili vs Rafael Nadal on and what time does it start? Thursday 16th May, 2019 - 18:30 (UK)

What channel is Nikoloz Basilashvili vs Rafael Nadal on? BT Sport (check schedule for specific channel)

Where can I stream Nikoloz Basilashvili vs Rafael Nadal? BT Sport subscribers can stream the match via the BT Sport Player

Where can I get tickets for Nikoloz Basilashvili vs Rafael Nadal? https://ticketing.internazionalibnlditalia.com/

THE LOWDOWN

HEAD-TO-HEAD
All-time meetings:
Nikoloz Basilashvili 0-2 Rafael Nadal
Last meeting:
Rafael Nadal beat Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3, 6-3, 6-7, 6-4

NIKOLOZ BASILASHVILI

  • Nikoloz Basilashvili has made it past stiff competition so far in this year’s Italian Open with two straight-sets victories over Marton Fucsovics and Laslo Djere.
  • The Georgian’s record for 2019 is now 12-10 after those wins and his form before this tournament had looked questionable with three losses in four and all of those in three sets.
  • Basilashvili will now face the reigning Italian Open champion Rafael Nadal whom he has lost to on both previous occasions, including a 6-0, 6-1, 6-0 thrashing on clay at Roland Garros in 2017.

RAFAEL NADAL

  • Rafael Nadal has lost in three successive semi-finals on clay - Monte-Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid - to put in serious doubt his favourability for Roland Garros in under a fortnight’s time, and he will be desperate to come away from this tournament with finals experience for the season’s second Grand Slam.
  • The 32-year-old made light work of dispatching Jeremy Chardy in his first match in Rome (6-0, 6-1) and will have to play his round of 16 tie with Nikoloz Basilashvili later the same day due to bad weather halting play on Wednesday.
  • The reigning champion is searching for a ninth title in Rome which would extend the record he has already set at the Foro Italico. The Spaniard has played in ten finals, losing two to rival Novak Djokovic.

THE PREDICTION

27-year-old Nikoloz Basilashvili has taken a set from Rafael Nadal in the past, at the US Open last year in the round of 16, but that is about it in terms of positives. On clay, the Georgian has won a single game against the greatest ever on the surface, and although his game and rank have improved since 2017, he is likely to be yet more early-round cannon fodder for Nadal, who barely broke a sweat this morning against Jeremy Chardy.