French Open 2017: Rafael Nadal Vs. Roberto Bautista Agut

Rafael Nadal during a water break

Rafael Nadal and his quest for a record 10th French Open Title will continue as he takes on fellow countryman Roberto Bautista Agut in the round of 16 on Sunday.

Rafael NadalNadal wasted very little in reaching the last 16 when he required just 90 minutes to demolish Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-0, 6-1, 6-0. This victory recorded Nadal’s 98th victory out of 100 best-of-5 clay-court matches. He also his extended his record to 75-2 at Paris and 20-1 on clay this season.

The World Number 4 continued to be on terrific form with his serve. He converted 55% of his first serves against the Georgian in the third round winning 22 out of 29 first serve points. The major difference in the match was however created by the Spaniard’s return as he won 63% of his receiving points and eight out of 16 break point opportunities. Nadal’s sheer dominance is evident from the points itself as he won more return points (41) than Basilashvili’s total points (36).

Next up for Nadal is his fellow compatriot, the 16th seed Roberto Bautista Agut who booked his spot at the round of 16 for the second time in his career with his win against Jiri Vesely in straight sets 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.

Bautista Agut showed some immense serves against Vesely winning 65% of his first serve points and 63% of his second serves. The Castellón de la Plana native, who is hoping to make the quarter finals of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career, has won 10 of his 16 net points but made 20 unforced errors in that match. He has now won 5 straight sets at Paris and is 5-1 in his last 6 matches on clay.

Nadal and Bautista Agut will be meeting for the second time in their career, which is also the second time they’ll meet on clay, with the former leading their head-to-head tie 1-0. Nadal swept past Bautista Agut in the 2014 Madrid Masters 6-4, 6-3.

Given all this, Bautista Agut needs to dominate with his serve if he wants to record the biggest upset of the tournament. For Nadal, who is looking to make the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam for the 4th time since 2015, he should have no problem whatsoever in beating Bautista Agut again if he can continue with his highly efficient play.

Also Read: French Open to have a Nadal statue!

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