Thirteen-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal meets Canadian next gen Felix Auger-Aliassime in the fourth round of the French Open on Sunday, May 29 and tips here.
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Rafael Nadal versus Felix Auger- Aliassime head to head
Their only meeting came at the 2019 ATP Masters 1000 in Madrid, which was won by Nadal in straight sets.
Another week two for Nadal
Rafael Nadal arrived in Paris to begin his quest for a 14th French Open title with uncertainty about his fitness and readiness for the tournament.
After winning a record-breaking 21st Major title in Melbourne earlier this year, the Spaniard picked up a rib injury at Indian Wells, where he finished second, keeping him out of April’s clay-court season. With less than ideal performances in both Madrid and Rome, the Roland Garros favorite did not belong to the King of Clay as a foot injury handicapped him in the Rome Masters 1000 loss to Denis Shapovalov.
However, Nadal has again almost shown his commanding best in the first three rounds of this week.
The world number five, who lost just six games in his opener against Aussie Jordan Thompson, lost just eight games in another straight set win over France’s Corentin Moutet.
It was asked if Nadal’s first challenge of the fortnight would come from Dutchman Botic Van De Zandschulp, who had performed well since last year’s US Open, beating Fabio Fognini in the previous round. However, it shouldn’t come to that.
Nadal sped through the first two sets 6-3, 6-2 and with a double break in set number three he looked ready for his fourth round as he dropped serve once and looked ready to drop again for the match to let.
The King of Clay dug a deep break point in the third at 5-4, eventually ending the match in straight sets before advancing into another Roland Garros round two and now one match away from a potential quarter-final against Novak Djokovic, who has that mouth watering.
Auger-Aliassime continues slam consistency
Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, 21, is making his second week of the French Open for the first time in his career after notching impressive runs at the last three majors and reaching the quarterfinals at Wimbledon and the semifinals of the US Open.
Clay isn’t his favorite surface and it wasn’t the Canadian’s best run early on in the clay swing. At the Rome Masters, however, he seemed to pull himself together on the dirt and made it into the last eight, where he lost a tough encounter to world number one and eventual champion Novak Djokovic 5-7 6-7.
The week didn’t start particularly well here for the Canadian as he lost two sets fewer in his opener against little-known Juan Pablo Varillas but came back in five sets to win.
Auger-Aliassime was clinical in the next round against Argentina’s Ugo Carabelli, losing just seven games. It was always going to be a difficult third round against Filip Krajinovic of Serbia and so it was just the Canadian digging deep to secure a hard-fought 7-6 7-6 7-5 win, the guts and the Ability to fight showed it off and raise the stakes when needed.
Coached by none other than the man who has given Nadal all the glory in his career i.e. Toni Nadal (his uncle), it will be an intriguing first time to see Nadal and his uncle’s team go head-to-head.
Nadal v Auger-Aliassime prediction and tip
A thrilling competition with Nadal as the Auger alias, coached by none other than his uncle Toni Nadal. Auger-Aliassime looked better in the final two laps after a difficult opener that saw his back against the wall.
Expect the Canadian to push Nadal, but it’s Rafa Nadal in week two at Roland Garros – a mountain to climb. Nadal is again in the quarterfinals of the French Open in four sets.
The French Open 2022 will be held from May 22nd to June 5th. You can watch and bet on these games here. Get your latest premium tennis predictions here.