Third seeded Rafael Nadal will hope for a lesser of a test when he takes on Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the third round at Wimbledon on Saturday, July 6. The match is expected to start not before 2:15 pm local time or 1.15 pm GMT. You can find the Rafael Nadal v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga live streaming options, preview and predictions here.
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Rafael Nadal v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Head to Head
The two players have met 12 times on the ATP Circuit, with Nadal leading the head-to-head, 8-4. However, their last meeting was in 2015, and they have not met in a while. Their only meeting on grass was at the Queen’s club, in 2011, which Tsonga won in a deciding set.
Nadal Moving Through A Tough Draw
World number two Rafael Nadal began his Wimbledon campaign, with a convincing win against Japanese Yuichi Sugita in straight sets. He then ran into the beginning of what was considered a tough path through the draw, as he faced Nick Kyrgios in the second round, in what many called a ‘grudge match’ of sorts.
In a closely fought and very entertaining contest on Center Court, Nadal came through in four sets, winning the last two in tiebreakers. This particular victory will give the Spaniard immense confidence and belief in going deep at the tournament, on a surface that is his least favorite.
Nadal is a two time Wimbledon champion and comes to Wimbledon without playing any of the warm-up tournaments on grass, at the back of an exhausting and successful clay court season, which saw him winning the French Open for a record twelfth time. The Spaniard was disappointed at being seeded below Roger Federer, who was moved up to number two to replace Nadal.
The Spaniard third seed was handed a particularly difficult draw with tricky opponents in his path, with his next opponent being French veteran Jo-Wilfriend Tsonga.
Tsonga Hoping for Wimbledon Resurgence
French veteran Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was ranked in the top five of the ATP rankings in 2012. He is an Australian Open finalist, has reached the semi-finals of the French Open and Wimbledon twice each, as well as a multiple time US Open quarter finalist.
However, as a result of prolonged injury layoffs, he has fallen in the rankings and form and is currently ranked number 72.
He made a return to the tour at the beginning of the year, and the 34 year old won the ATP 250 at Montpellier. The rest of his season has not been noteworthy, but he did put up a very spirited display on the grass courts at the ATP 500 at Halle, where he was only a few points away from taking out Roger Federer, who eventually won the title for a record tenth time.
Tsonga has a big serve and a very good grass court game and has exhibited his brilliance in the past, taking out Roger Federer in the 2011 Wimbledon quarter finals in a five set thriller.
Having looked good on the grass so far this year with convincing victories against Australian Bernard Tomic and Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis in straight sets, Tsonga will hope for an improved showing.
Nadal v Tsonga Predictions & Tips
Given the passage of time since they last played each other, one cannot read much into the head-to-head. In the recent past, Nadal has had a very convincing last two years on the circuit, especially at Grand Slams, on all surfaces.
On the other hand, Tsonga has fought recurring injuries and drop in fitness and form, and in turn ATP rankings. On paper, this is a very good match-up on grass and Tsonga has looked like his old self at Halle before Wimbledon and in his first two rounds here.
But, these slower grass courts will be to Nadal’s liking, and he will be full of confidence after the Nick Kyrgios match that he just won. If Tsonga can bring his best grass court game, we could be in for a tight one, but the odds are stacked in favor of Nadal. A good match with a couple close sets, but Nadal to win in four sets.
Tip: Edmund to win: 4/7 (888Sport)