In his campaign to win the French Open title for an incredible 12th time, Rafael Nadal would face Kei Nishikori of Japan in the quarterfinal of the clay-court Grand Slam. Interestingly, the Spanish legend would be in action at approximately the same time as his great rival Roger Federer but it's the former who will feature at the famous Phillipe Chatrier court. A victory for the spaniard would take him into a contest with Federer, if the latter wins his match also.
When and where to watch
This quarterfinal would begin at 3:15 PM local time, 1:15 PM GMT and 6:45 PM IST. The live telecast would be available on Star Sports Select 1 and Star Sports Select 1 HD for Indian viewers. Online streaming would be provided on Hotstar platform.
Nadal came into this tournament on the back of an uplifting win over the top-seeded Novak Djokovic in the Italian Open final after losing in the last-four stage of the previous three tournaments he played. That win suggested that the Spaniard is getting back to his top form. His campaign so far in the event has proved that surmise correct as he has coasted into the quarters while losing just one set so far in the tournament.
His win in the last-16 stage was the 90th that the 'King of Clay' has recorded in his entire career at the clay court Grand Slam. Against that, he has lost here on only two occasions, stats that prove his unmatched dominance on his favourite surface.
Nadal's opponent, Nishikori, is the seventh seed and won his last two matches in five sets, that too after being a break down in the final set on both occasions. But the unfancied Japanese has the benefit of having Michael Chang, the 1989 champion of this event, as his coach. Despite the heavy odds against his ward, Chang believes the 29-year old can cause a major upset.
"With Kei, you take advantage of the strengths that you have, which is his ability to hit great shots. Kei is probably one of the most talented players out here. He knows how to play and he's beaten the best players in the world," the retired American explained.
But Nadal always seems to have his A-game up when he features at the Phillipe Chatrier court. With the crowd and legions of his fans egging him on, the Spaniard is going to come all guns blazing in his quest for the 18th Grand Slam title of his career. But if his opponent has to look for inspiration, all he needs to do is learn about the memorable triumph of his coach in 1989 against Ivan Lendl in the final. That famous match gave Chang his only Grand Slam title. Will his protégé get his first this year?
Global TV listings
- France: France TV Sport
- USA: NBC
- United Kingdom: iTV
- Australia: Fox Sports
- Canada: TSN
- Spain: Eurosport
- Japan: Wowow
- China: CCTV