Rafael Nadal hasn’t won a non-french open
major title since the 2017 US Open, and I’ll explain how he can end this 2 year streak
at this year’s us open. Here on GS Tennis News Today. Rafa opens up against Aussie John Millman
and had very little trouble with him in their only meeting back at the 2017 Wimbledon championships. In his win over Roger Federer last year, John
showcased out of this world defensive skills chasing down ball after ball, but this won’t
do much to the tenacious Nadal. In the second round he’ll face either Thanasi
Kokkanakis or Qualifier Ilya Ivashka, and the stronger and more dangerous of these two
Kokkanakis isn’t coming into this tournament with a whole lot of confidence so I see Rafa
taking another convincing win. In the third round, things may get more complicated
with Fernando Verdasco and Hyeon Chung being possible opponents. I say this will be more complicated because
he hasn’t had the easiest time with either player. Verdasco and Chung are not as effected by
that Nadal forehand as Fernando is able to send the ball bad with equal pace off his
lefty forehand, and Hyeon can redirected that shot with his backhand effortlessly. In this match he’ll need to be the more
aggressive one, and avoid letting his balls land short in the court. In the round of 16 two big servers loom with
John Isner and Marin Cilic being the two seeds he could face. To avoid too much drama against these two
the Spaniard will have to do his part on serve and hold frequently. They might be really strong on their service
games and be hard to break, but at least he’ll play his part and push the sets to at least
a tiebreaker. In the quarters Rafa is projected to face
Alexander Zverev, but I think its a lot more likely he face 9th seeded Karen Khachanov. To get by him, he can not play too far behind
the baseline, as this hurt him in the earlygoings of their 3rd round match last year. Once he stepped closer to the baseline and
starting to dictate more, he was able to hurt the entire match around and be victorious. This is the same approach he’ll have to
take in his semifinal match where he’s projected to face Dominic Thiem. In the finals Rafa would almost certainly
face either Roger or Novak, and against Roger the biggest thing I have to say is that Nadal
must do a better job on return. In the Wimbledon semifinals Rafael returned
very poorly and I felt that if he just could’ve cleaned this up he may have been able to turn
at least one of those lost sets in his favor. Against Nole on the other hand, he first needs
to hope that he doesn’t he play the way he did at this year’s Australian Open final
because if Djokovic plays the same way that he did there its going to be very hard for
Rafa to be successful. In this match Novak was the one clearly in
control, but in the 2013 US Open final, Nadal was the one running Novak ragged and his court
position indicated more of an offensive approach. Rafael may come across players who decide
to peak when they play him, but he if plays his matches with purpose and with aggressive
intent, I find it hard for even players at their highest peak to knock him off Mt. Everest.

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Dennis Veasley

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