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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday July 6, 2019


Rafael Nadal has battled into the second week at Wimbledon once again, and the Spaniard is looking very solid as we head into the round of 16 at Wimbledon. Here are five takeaways from his first week at Wimbledon.

1. He Passed the Kyrgios Test

Nadal handled his business and battled past Nick Kyrgios in the second round and that has set the tone for the Spaniard here at Wimbledon. He’s ready for the fight to come to him and after pocketing two tiebreakers against the bomb-serving Kyrgios he’s confident in his ability to deliver in the clutch.

Nadal – Kyrgios was one of the best matches of the first week and it showed this writer that Nadal is ready to make a serious push for the title here.

2. His Draw Got Easier

Nadal handled Jo-Wilfried Tsonga with ease on Day 6, and next up he’ll face either Joao Sousa or Dan Evans. It could have been Marin Cilic facing Nadal in the round of 16, so the draw has broken—one would think—favorably for the two-time champ. If Nadal reaches the quarters he will face the winner of Querrey v Sandgren in the quarter-finals. Nadal has weathered the toughest part of his pre-semi-final draw and his still got tons left in the tank—that’s a good sign.

3. A New Trend?

After failing to make it past the round of 16 in five consecutive Wimbledon appearances Nadal is looking to make it two consecutive years where he’s reached at least the semi-finals. It says a lot about his comfort level on the grass—the trend is definitely headed in the right direction for Nadal.

4. The Stats Look Good

Nadal has been clean, mean and efficient in his three matches at Wimbledon. He’s held serve in 44/47 games, won 83 percent of his first-serve points and 67 percent of his second-serve points. Nadal is so adept at getting to the net with an advantage in points and he has done so 48 times in three rounds, winning 36 of the points.

And, as is typically the case, he is winning tons of baseline points. He ranks third among remaining players with 57 percent of baseline points won. Nadal has cracked 44 winners against just 27 unforced errors in ten sets.

5. Get Ready for Rafa and Roger

All signs point to a Federer v Nadal showdown in the semi-finals. Unlike Roland Garros, Nadal would have to take on the great grass-courter at Wimbledon where it’s Federer’s house, not Nadal’s.

But the confidence that Nadal has taken from his win over Federer in Paris, coupled with his fine run of form here on the grass, should set him up nicely to take a run at Federer.

It’s certainly not a lock to occur, but if Federer v Nadal episode 40 occurs, the king of clay just might be ready to expand his empire to the grass.


 

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