Italian teenage sensation Jannik Sinner is set to challenge The King of Clay in the French Open quarter-finals on Tuesday, 6 October 2020.
This will be the first ever meeting between the 19-years-old Sinner and Rafa Nadal and just for a comparison, the Italian was only a few months old when Nadal turned professional and won his first ever ATP match in April 2002 – aged 15 years and 10 months.
The winner of this quarter-final tie will face either Diego Schwartzman or Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals.
Jannik Sinner Betting Preview
Coached by his experienced fellow compatriot Riccardo Piatti, who also coached the likes of Novak Djokovic, Richard Gasquet, Milos Raonic and Ivan Ljubicic over the years, Jannik Sinner has won the Next Generation ATP Finals in 2019. The Italian did not hesitate to introduce himself to the Grand Slam stage, coming off an impressive 3-1 victory against the US Open runner-up Alexander Zverev.
The Next Gen ATP Finals champion enjoyed one of the biggest wins of his career to beat World No. 7 Sascha Zverev 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 on Court Suzanne-Lenglen. The Italian teenager was clinical on breakpoints, converting five of his six opportunities to outplay the German in just over three hours.
Sinner denied Zverev’s attempt to reach the quarter-finals in Paris for the third year in a row and will be keen to build on. He remained exceptionally calm, showed no signs of disappointment after he lost the third set, continued to attack from the baseline to claim eight of the first nine points.
All in all, the Italian played without fear throughout the match, embracing his opportunities to step inside the baseline and take control of rallies. Sinner almost doubled Zverev’s tally of 20 winners – he struck 39 winners in the match, but can he keep it cool against a player of Nadal’s caliber?
Following his remarkable win against Alexander Zverev on Sunday, Jannik Sinner became the first player since Rafael Nadal in 2005 to reach the Roland Garros quarter-finals on his tournament debut.
Furthermore, the Italian is the youngest player to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final since Novak Djokovic, aged 36 days younger, reached the quarters of the 2006 French Open.
In fact, the lost third set against Sascha Zverev was the first time Sinner had dropped a set in the competition, having previously beat the likes of 11-th seed David Goffin of Belgium, French qualifier Benjamin Bonzi and Argentina’s Federico Coria in straight sets.
Sinner’s form has been pretty exceptional as the Italian can already boast several wins over some of the Top 10 players, including a 2-1 victory over Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second round of the Rome Masters.
Receiving one of the wild cards for the Rome Masters, Jannik Sinner kicked-off with a 6-2, 6-1 win over experienced Frenchman Benoit Paire, but his standout performance was the 6-1, 6-7, 6-2 win over Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second round. However, Sinner lost to Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov in the next round, though he won the first set.
Rafael Nadal Betting Preview
The Spaniard is a player who doesn’t need any introduction, particularly when it comes to his clay domination. However, Nadal’s first post-lockdown appearance was at the Italian Open where he failed to defend his title as he suffered a 2-6, 5-7 defeat to Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinals.
This was Nadal’s first competition since the triumphant campaign at Acapulco in February-March – his only title so far in 2020. However, the prominent Spaniard has nothing to prove as he has a tremendous career and he’s aiming to level Roger Federer’s record of 20 Grand Slam titles, which seems to be more likely to happen at Nadal’s favorite venue.
Rafa Nadal is set for another quarter-final appearance at the Roland Garros and he warmed up with an extremely convincing 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 victory against Floridan qualifier Sebastian Korda on Court Philippe-Chatrier on Sunday.
The Spaniard was absolutely dominant thus far, not losing more than four games in a single set since the beginning of the French Open. He achieved comfortable straight set victories against the likes of Egor Gerasimov of Belarus, Mackenzie McDonald of the United States and Italian Stefano Travaglia, yet none of them was able to produce a major challenge of his current shape.
Spooky Express Betting Prediction
Even though the young Italian should be pretty encouraged, on the back of a massive win against Sascha Zverev, he must pull out an extraordinary performance and must also hope that his opponent is not in optimal condition if he wants to stand a chance against the ultimate clay-court test: the great Rafa Nadal himself.
The 12-time French Open Champion advanced to the quarter-finals in Paris for a record 14th time and is an absolute -1615 favorite to beat the Italian, whose chances to win are priced at +985 with BetOnline.
Since he had to withdraw (due to an injury) ahead of his third round clash against countryman Marcel Granollers-Pujol at the 2016 French Open, Nadal has been impeccable at the Roland Garros and his last defeat was back in 2015, when he lost in straight sets to Novak Djokovic.
However, this was Nadal’s only in-play defeat at the Roland Garros over the past decade and it’s a bit optimistic to believe that the young Italian will manage to produce a performance that would eventually see him off. But hey – it’s 2020 and we are witnessing a lot of weird stuff throughout the year so prospects of Sinner winning some games, or even a set, against Nadal on Court Philippe Chatrier should be on the agena.
Spooky Express Free Play: Over 28½ Games -111 @ BetOnline for 6/10 Units