It doesn’t happen everyday, when a second round contest in any tennis event starts with a possibility of becoming the ‘match of the tournament‘. Such will be the case this time around when Pablo Carreno Busta lock horns with the defending champion and ‘The King of Clay’ Rafael Nadal at the Italian Open 2020.
Talking about the performance in the tournament so far, Carreno Busta got a bye in the first round. The 29-year old Spaniard is in stupendous form, nearly making to the final at the last week concluded US Open before eventually losing out to Alexander Zverev in a grueling semifinal match.
Similarly, Nadal has got a first-round bye and he is yet to step on the court at this year’s Rome Masters. However, the 34-year old hasn’t played a competitive match since the season restarted amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. So the doubts loom large over the 19-time Major winner’s form.
Pablo Carreno Busta vs Rafael Nadal: Head-to-Head
Nadal is yet to lose a match in five meetings with his compatriot. The last time they played was earlier this year in Australian Open. It was a Round of 32 encounter where Nadal demolished his younger country-mate Carreno Busta in straight sets 6-1, 6-2, 6-4. Therefore, the 12-time French Open champion leads the head-to-head record 5-0.
Pablo Carreno Busta vs Rafael Nadal: Prediction
It has been more than six months when Rafa Nadal last played his match on the ATP tour. There is a possibility that there may be some sort of rustiness in his play in the initial stages of the contest and that is where Carreno Busta will look to seize an upper hand in the encounter. Having said that, Nadal is making a comeback on his favourite surface and it will be impossible to stop him once he finds his mojo back. This leads to a topsy-turvy and an enthralling encounter for the tennis fans.
Match Prediction: Rafael Nadal defeats Pablo Carreno Busta in a marathon match, that is guaranteed to go to the distance.