Wawrinka, Murray, Nishikori and Cilic have made it to the quarters in the top half of the draw and the more loaded bottom half will play its quarter finals today. Of the two matches to be played today, one is expected to be a routine win for Rafa whereas the other between Thiem and Djokovic could turn out to be a barn burner.
Rafael Nadal v/s P Carreno Busta
Rafa has been mowing down opposition ruthlessly and it’d be a miracle to get a set out of Nadal let alone a whole match. He beat Basilashvili 6-0, 6-1, 6-0 in the third and then in another dominant display took out a good clay courter 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 in the 4th and I’d be highly surprised if Busta can get a set out of Nadal at this stage. The 3-0 H2H in favor of Nadal will not provide any confidence to Busta either and Nadal is expected to sail through this one too. It would take a Djokovic, Thiem, Wawrinka or Murray at their very best to upset Nadal now and Nadal should move into the next round quite easily.
Conclusion: Nadal in 3
Novak v/s Dominic Thiem
Now this one holds more promise as an entertainer provided the match-up advantage of Novak doesn’t become too pronounced here. Thiem might have had a better chance against Nadal because Novak finds Thiem’s playing style easier to handle, as is evident in their 5-0 H2H in favor of Novak and made obvious yet again in their last meeting at Rome where Novak thrashed Thiem 6-1, 6-0 after Dominic had just taken out Nadal in the previous round. However, Thiem is sure to give it his best and try more effective tactics this time around and thereby make it competitive, and then who knows what may happen because Novak is not really at his best yet.
Conclusion: Novak in 4