Third seeded Rafael Nadal will be up against Yuichi Sugita in the opening round of the 2019 Wimbledon on Tuesday, July 2. The match begins at 11 am local time. You can find the Rafael Nadal v Yuichi Sugita live streaming options, preview and predictions here.
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Rafael Nadal v Yuichi Sugita Head to Head
The two men have never met on the ATP circuit.
Nadal Hoping To Repeat Clay Heroics on Grass
Eighteen time Grand Slam winner, and two time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal, arrives at Wimbledon as he often does, i.e. winning the French Open and completing an exhausting and successful season on clay. This time is no different, and as he has often done in the past, the Spaniard has not participated in any of the grass warm-up tournaments this year.
Despite having repeated injuries since the end of last year, Nadal has returned stronger than before, being a finalist at the Australian Open and winning the French Open. With semi-final performances at Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid that were below his lofty standards, the Spaniard came back stronger to win the Rome Masters and eventually the French Open.
The days before Wimbledon were not the most pleasing for the Spaniard, with him being seeded at number three (despite being ranked second), and Roger Federer being promoted in the Wimbledon seedings. The number three seed Nadal was also not handed the kindest of draws with dangerous floaters like Nick Kyrgios, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, and Marin Cilic all matched up against him potentially, before the quarter-finals.
The 2008 and 2010 Wimbledon champion begins his campaign against Japanese veteran Yuichi Sugita.
Sugita Looking To Provide A Challenge on His Favorite Surface
30-year-old Yuichi Sugita was once ranked 36th in the world, in 2017 when he won the Antalya Open ATP 250 on grass. His rankings have since fallen and he is currently ranked 187th in the world and had to make the Wimbledon main draw, through the qualifiers.
Sugita has a game that is naturally suited to the grass with an attacking forehand and always comfortable at the net. He has unfortunately never been past the second round of Wimbledon ( or any Grand Slam). Part of his lack of success is sometimes attributed to him not having the overpowering serve of some of the bigger built players.
The Japanese qualifier Sugita will be confident after a convincing straight sets win against former top 30 ranked Lukas Rosol, who has pulled the odd huge upset at Grand Slams including Wimbledon, in the past.
Nadal v Sugita Predictions & Tips
Sugita has a game that is well suited to grass and has a title on the grass at an ATP 250 in 2017 as well. Additionally, Nadal has not played on grass this season, choosing to skip all the grass court tournaments, after what was an exhausting clay court season for him.
It is important to see what form and fitness Nadal brings on the grass and that will likely be the deciding factor on whether Sugita provides a challenge or not. Expect some good grass court tennis from the Japanese, but he is unlikely to have enough in the bag to trouble the world number two. A straight sets win for Nadal to begin his Wimbledon campaign.
Tip: Djokovic to win 3-0: 1/2 (888Sport)