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Italian Open 2024

Italian Open 2024: Hubert Hurkacz vs Rafael Nadal preview, head-to-head, prediction, live streaming

Published at :May 11, 2024 at 2:48 AM
Modified at :May 11, 2024 at 2:48 AM
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Siddharthan P


Rafael Nadal is a 10-time champion at the Italian Open, most by any player.

Rafael Nadal will face the seventh-seeded Hubert Hurkacz as his second-round challenger in the Italian Open 2024. Making a comeback after an injury layoff, Nadal has looked vulnerable with a win percentage of 70 this year. In the opening round of this Masters 1000 event in Rome, he registered a hard-fought win against qualifier Zizou Bergs.

The Spaniard lost the first set 6-4 and like he has done all his career came back strongly to take the next two sets and win the game 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 earning a trip to the tournament’s second round. On the other hand, his opponent Hubert Hurkacz got a walkover into the second round thanks to his seeding. The 27-year-old has registered a few confidence-boosting wins.

Having started the year with a quarter-final finish at the Australian Open and winning the Estoril Open, he made his biggest contribution by helping Poland make it to the United Cup final. Hurkacz has been improving his game on clay and the title in Portugal is a proof of the same. He will look to improve even more before the Roland Garros.

Rafael Nadal vs Hubert Hurkacz match details

Date: May 11, Saturday

Time: 4:30 PM IST (Tentative)

Venue: Foro Italico, Rome

Rafael Nadal vs Hubert Hurkacz Preview

When someone looks at the names of both players on paper, then they will say that Nadal is the favourite to take the game. But a hardcore Tennis fan who has been following every tournament would say that Hurkacz may have a slight edge because of his form. This is what makes this contest one of the most interesting battles in the Italian Open 2024.

Hurkacz would fancy his chance in faster courts, like grass, or a hard court, given his style of play at this juncture in their respective careers. But the fact of the matter is it’s Clay and one has to think twice before calling Nadal an underdog on the clay court, more so in the grounds of Rome, where the 37-year-old has triumphed 10 times.

Nadal is slowly getting back to form and his forehand in recent games have shown some glimpses of his best. But the Polish star will look to play his game rather than worry about the opponent. Hurkacz’s serve has been one of the talking points whenever he plays, and he will look to put the Spaniard on the backfoot using the same tool.

Head-to-head records

Matches: 0

Rafael Nadal: 0

Hubert Hurkacz: 0

The duo will face each other for the first time on the ATP Tour.

Where and how to watch the live streaming and TV broadcast of Rafael Nadal vs Hubert Hurkacz, Italian Open 2024, second-round match in India?

The second-round match of the 2024 Italian Open between Rafael Nadal vs Hubert Hurkacz will be streamed on SonyLiv and fans can also follow their live telecast on Sony Sports Network. Moreover, fans can also enjoy the match on Tennis TV, which is a premium streaming service.

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Prediction

The 37-year-old Spaniard always has an edge on the clay courts given the way he has enjoyed the dirt. But for any player a win comes from how he plays on that particular day and Nadal will look to stamp his class against the Polish star. Hurkacz’s endurance and ability to switch between defense and offense quickly would be highly helpful.

With age and physical superiority on the side of the 27-year-old Polish star, Nadal’s experience and mindset will keep him in good stead. While Nadal’s lack of game time could be a weak link and for the 2024 Estoril Open Champion hasn’t registered many wins against top quality players.

It could all comedown to who serves better. The 22-time Grand Slam Champion has been working hard on his serve and could see a clear enhancement from the Barcelona Open. Hurkacz has been serving thunderbolts with already 90 aces in his pocket. The contest promises to be a closely fought one, with the Southpaw triumphing at the end.

Result: Rafael Nadal to win three sets.

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