Second seeded Rafael Nadal plays Belgian David Goffin in the third round of the French Open on Friday, May 31. The match will begin at 1 pm local time (or 12 noon BST) and you can find the Rafael Nadal v David Goffin live streaming options, preview and predictions here.
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Rafael Nadal v David Goffin Head to Head
The two players have met four times on the ATP circuit with Nadal leading the head-to-head 3-1. Nadal has won the three times that they have met on clay, in very convincing manner, with Goffin’s only win coming indoors at the ATP 2017 year-end finals.
Nadal Looking to Storm Through Week 1
Any concerns over Rafael Nadal not looking his best on clay a few weeks ago continue to get alleviated as he looks increasingly menacing with every match. Nadal followed his first round win over German qualifier Yannick Maden, with another convincing 6-2/6-1/6-3 win over another German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann.
While Nadal may have been relieved to finally win a title on clay at Rome earlier this month, he will now begin to feel more confident with his first two rounds as he continues to establish his status as favorite for a 12th Roland Garros crown.
Nadal lost in the semi-finals at Monte Carlo, Barcelona and at Madrid raising eyebrows if it was time for a changing of the guard on clay and if he was finally slower, less sharp and not the man to beat in Paris.
The world number two has changed all of that pretty quickly with one dominating performance after another. With his trademark explosive forehand on point again, and being able to find the angles from all over the court, the Spaniard continues to be the man to beat at Roland Garros as he eyes an 18th major title.
Nadal’s next opponent is Belgian David Goffin as the Spaniard looks to make his way to the second week of the French Open yet again.
Can Goffin Be Nadal’s First Challenge at Roland Garros 2019?
Like Nadal, Belgian David Goffin has also been in pristine form in his first two rounds at the French Open, with two formidable straight set wins. Goffin was ranked seventh in the world after being a finalist at the ATP year end finals in London in 2017, a tournament where he beat both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
The last year and a half or so for Goffin has been a mix of recurring injuries, time off from the game and disappointing early losses at tournaments, resulting in him being ranked number 30 at the moment.
The Belgian is an offensive baseliner with strong groundstrokes off both wings, a good return of serve and a solid double handed backhand. Goffin’s game is well suited to the clay and has been a French Open quarter-finalist in 2017. He has also reached the round of 16 or better at all four majors.
Goffin is in the process of resurrecting his career post injuries in search of more consistent results. While playing Nadal at Roland Garros is as difficult a task as they come, a strong showing by Goffin will give him the confidence he needs to get back in the mix at major tournaments going forward.
Nadal v Goffin Predictions & Tips
Goffin has the potential to challenge Nadal, given his gritty approach and game well-suited to the clay. However, Goffin has not been in the best of form of late and is also returning from injuries. On the other hand, this is where Nadal is most dominant and looks to be getting stronger every match. Expect Goffin to provide a stronger challenge than Nadal’s first two opponents, but Nadal to win in straight sets and get ready for week 2.
Tip: Game Handicap – Goffin+9.5: 4/5 (888Sport)