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08 Jun 2018 by Trystan Pugh

French Open 2018 – Rafael Nadal vs Juan Martin Del Potro Preview

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AT A GLANCE

Where is Rafael Nadal vs Juan Martin Del Potro taking place? Court Philippe Chatrier, Roland-Garros, Paris

When is Rafael Nadal vs Juan Martin Del Potro on and what time does it start? Friday 8th June, 2018 - (not before) 14:30 (UK)

What channel is Rafael Nadal vs Juan Martin Del Potro on? ITV4 and Eurosport 1/2 (UK)

Where can I stream Rafael Nadal vs Juan Martin Del Potro? The match can be streamed free via the ITV Player or those with a relevant subscription can stream the match via the Eurosport Player

Where can I get tickets for Rafael Nadal vs Juan Martin Del Potro? https://tickets.rolandgarros.com/en/home

THE LOWDOWN

RAFAEL NADAL

  • Nadal was given a scare in his quarter-final when an inspired Diego Schwartzman took the first set but, aided by a rain delay, the Spaniard rallied to take the next three sets in a match which spanned two days.
  • Rafa will be hoping for hot and dry weather; as we saw early on against Schwartzman, he is unable to dictate to the same degree in damp conditions as it is more difficult to impart as much topspin on his looping forehands.
  • The Spaniard will be wary of the power that Del Potro possesses in his forehand so he will try and keep the ball away from that wing as much as possible.

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO

  • An emotional Del Potro made it though to the French Open semi-finals for the first time since 2009 after he overcame Marin Cilic in a four-set quarter final.
  • Although the Argentine has never beaten Nadal on clay, he has recorded five career victories against the Spaniard and has prevailed in two of their last three meetings.
  • He will take heart from the fact that Schwartzman took a set off Nadal in the quarter-finals and Del Potro will aim to attack at every opportunity and apply early pressure.

THE STATISTICS

THE PREDICTION

Possessing immense power, Del Potro is capable of hitting anyone off the court on his day but facing Nadal at the French Open is the ultimate test of a tennis player's credentials. The Argentine will need to play on the edge and go for the lines as anything less will not be good enough against the King of Clay, but sustaining such a level for the duration of a Grand Slam match is a feat few have managed in the past. There is a template for success in this style; that of Stan Wawrinka's famous victory over an on-fire Novak Djokovic in the 2015 final, but such performances are rare and it will take something similar to pull off an upset here.

If Del Potro can nick the first set he will give himself a fighting chance but he will have to play lights out tennis throughout. The longer the match goes on, it will favour Rafa, with the world number one favoured to come through in four sets and sustain his hopes of an 11th Roland-Garros crown.