Second seeded Rafael Nadal will begin his title defense at the 2019 French Open against the 184th-ranked Yannick Hanfmann, who got into the main draw through the qualifiers. This David-Goliath match will be played on Monday, May 27, with the timing yet to be announced. Get Rafael Nadal v Yannick Hanfmann live streaming options here.
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Rafael Nadal v Yannick Hanfmann Head to Head
This will be the first-ever clash between these two and that’s not surprising if we know that Nadal has spent last 15 years ranked in the top 10 while Hanfmann was never better ranked than 99th, so the chances of them even being in a main draw of the same tournament were pretty slim.
Nadal Coming to Paris after Winning at Rome
After starting the clay season with three consecutive semifinals exits (Monte Carlo Masters, Barcelona and Madrid Masters) Rafa has finally won the title last week in Rome when he faced Djokovic in the finals and won 6-0, 4-6 and 6-1.
His form is undoubtedly on the rise and with him turning 33 years in two weeks, this could easily be one of the final opportunities to dominate here in Paris and win the trophy once again and I expect the Spaniard to be on top of his game from this opening match.
Second Grand Slam Main Draw Appearance for Hanfmann
Yannick Hanfmann will play for the first time in the French Open main draw and the second time in the main draw of a Grand Slam (2018 Australian Open his first one) and this will be a huge thing for his career and will mean a lot to Hanfmann in his attempt to come back into the top 100 (184th at the moment, career-high 99th).
The 27-year-old German does play his best tennis on clay and has a 138-63 career record on it, with two Challenger titles won on it, both last year.
He has beaten Lestienne, Ofner and Rosol in the qualifiers, all of them in straight sets and he has lost only seven, three and four games in those matches, playing some great tennis in the process.
Rafael Nadal v Yannick Hanfmann Predictions & Tips
Even much better players didn’t have too good of time against Nadal recently (Chardy and Basilashvili won a single game each in Rome last week) so there’s a reasonable doubt that the 180+ places worse-ranked Hanfmann can do much against in-form Rafa in the Spanish player’s favourite tournament.
This is why we think there will be less than 26.5 games and one can expect Nadal to lose no more than 6-7 games total.
Tip: Under 26.5 games for the match 10/13 (888Sport)