Rafael Nadal vs Diego Schwartzman: Rome Masters Preview and Prediction

Second seed Rafael Nadal takes on his good friend and eighth seed Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinals of the Rome Masters tonight. 

Nadal began his campaign with a ruthless 6-1 6-1 win over Pablo Carreno Busta. The latter was a pale shadow of his form that saw him reach the semifinals at the US Open. 

Nadal dished out another comprehensive win against Dusan Lajovic beating him 6-1 6-3 in the pre-quarterfinals.

On the other hand, Schwartzman commenced his run edging past John Millman 6-4 7-6. 

Trailing by a set against Hubert Hurkacz in the pre-quarterfinals, Schwartzman relied on his all-round game to defeat him 3-6 6-2 6-4.

Head to Head record 

Nadal leads the head to head record 9-0 against Schwartzman. 

“I need to keep working on a couple of things that are not coming automatically, but I can't ask for more, another great evening for me against another good opponent, can't complain at all, much better than what I expected," said Rafa quite pleased with his game after his win against Lajovic. 

Having reached the semifinals of the Rome Masters last year where he lost to Novak Djokovic in three sets, Schwartzman has a mountain to climb against Nadal as he has never defeated him in his career.

“It always has been very tough and tricky matches against him, I know I have to play very well if I want to have chances and that's what I'm going to try to do," opined Nadal ahead of the showdown. 

The king of clay has been sublime form in the tournament so far as he marches ahead to clinch his 10th title. Schwartzman has found some semblance of momentum at the Italian Open. He should rely on his dogged playing style along with good timing and speedy returns to trouble Nadal. 

Despite playing after six months, Nadal has shown no signs of rust with his groundstrokes, approach shots, and movement looking as good as ever. Schwartzman has to start strong and unleash a barrage of big shots from the baseline to unsettle the Spaniard. Playing his 15th consecutive quarterfinal in Rome, Nadal is the player to beat. 

Prediction - Rafael Nadal to win in straight sets

Featured image credits: Getty Images

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