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Ricky’s Preview & Picks For Day 10 of 10s At The U.S. Open Tennis • Including Nadal vs. Schwartzman

By Ricky Dimon

Rafael Nadal has always been a huge favorite in the bottom half of the U.S. Open draw, and that is the case now more than ever given the rest of the quarterfinal lineup. Aside from Nadal, Gael Monfils is the highest-remaining seed on that side of the bracket heading into Wednesday’s action at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Ricky previews the action and makes his predictions.

(20) Diego Schwartzman vs. (2) Rafael Nadal

Is Nadal probably going to reach the U.S. Open final? Yes. But there is no doubt about one thing: Schwartzman is not just going to roll over for the world No. 2 and give him a free pass into the semis. Schwartzman trails the head-to-head series 7-0, but he took a set off Nadal at the 2018 Australian Open and even more impressively a few months later at the French Open. The Argentine’s 7-6(5), 6-3, 7-5 setback against Nadal at the 2015 U.S. Open was extremely entertaining despite ending in straight sets.

Schwartzman is coming off a top-10 win (albeit nothing along the lines of what an upset of Nadal would be), having ousted Alexander Zverev in four sets on Monday afternoon. Nadal has not endured any trouble so far in New York, invoking memories of his run to a third U.S. Open title in 2017. Thus continues a perfect hard-court summer for the 18-time Grand Slam champion, who captured the Montreal title before withdrawing from Cincinnati. Expect plenty of fun baseline points, but Schwartzman is unlikely to snag a set.

Pick: Nadal in 3

(24) Matteo Berrettini vs. (13) Gael Monfils

Yes, either Monfils or Berrettini is going to make it to the U.S. Open semifinals. Monfils has been there before (2016), just as he has at the French Open (2008), so it would not be entirely unexpected for him–especially not in Dominic Thiem’s wide-open quarter of the draw. Monfils got a stern test during a dramatic five-setter against Denis Shapovalov, but he should have everything left in the tank for this one after hammering Pablo Andujar 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 on Monday evening.

This marks the first career encounter between the Frenchman and the Italian, and it comes on the biggest stage Berrettini has ever experienced. His previous best result at a slam just came at Wimbledon, where he got completely crushed by Roger Federer in the fourth round. The world No. 25 suffered an ankle injury thereafter and played a grand total of one hard-court match this summer (and lost it) prior to the U.S. Open. As such, no one could have seen this run coming. Monfils will probably end it, but this will be an intriguing matchup between Berrettini’s power and Monfils’ ability to run down just about everything.

Pick: Monfils in 4

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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