When it comes to playing in the red clay surface, one name immediately springs to mind, and that is Rafael Nadal. The former world number one has proved it, winning titles on clay a number of times. Now, Nadal is looking to win his tenth Monte Carlo Masters title as he prepares to face Alexander Zverev in the third round clash on Thursday.
Nadal beat Kyle Edmund in his second round match to set up a date with Zverev, but it was not an easy win for the Spaniard. After winning the first set, Nadal was outdone by Edmund in the second, leading to a third set, which he finally managed to win. However, it was not one of those dominating clay-court performances from Nadal, which we have been acquainted to seeing him play.
There is a serious need for Nadal to up his game when he comes against Zverev, who is regarded as one of the best upcoming players in the ATP circuit. If one looks at their head-to-head record, Nadal has 2-0 lead, but the Spaniard was tested in both the matches, which went down to the final set. Will we see another three-set affair in Mote Carlo?
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Zverev also knows the fact that Nadal is a dangerous player on clay. Nadal, after his struggle against Edmund, will be determined to bring his A game. Nadal can demolish any player with his skills, and against Zverev, the former world number one will have experience at his disposal as well.
The German youngster comes into this clash with some impressive performances under his belt. Nadal has plenty of reasons to fear Zverev, who has looked quite ruthless in his approach as well. He beat Andreas Seppi in the first round and followed that with another brilliant show against Feliciano Lopez. Zverev has not dropped a single set so far.
For Nadal to do well, the fourth seed has to start brightly in the first set and continue that momentum throughout the match. If Zverev is even given a small opportunity to make a comeback, he will do so with a bang.
Nadal with experience, and Zverev's exuberance of youth along will be on full display in Monte Carlo third round clash. Nadal should reach the next round, but then it would be silly to write off Zverev before the match as well.
Where to watch live
Rafael Nadal vs Alexander Zverev Monte Carlo Masters match is tentatively scheduled for 3 pm local time (6.30 pm IST, 1 pm GMT and 9 am ET). Here is the live TV and streaming information.
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India: TV: Ten 2. Live Streaming: Sony Liv
US: TV: Tennis Channel: Live Streaming: Tennis Channel Live
UK: TV: Sky Sports 1 HD: Live Streaming: Sky Go
China: TV: CCTV
Canada: TV: TSN
Australia: TV: ESPN International
France: TV: Canal +
Also, one can live stream the match on the Monte Carlo official website