Rafael Nadal will commence his 2022 US Open campaign against young debutant Rinky Hijikata on Tuesday. Nadal was forced to…
Rafael Nadal will commence his 2022 US Open campaign against young debutant Rinky Hijikata on Tuesday.
Nadal was forced to withdraw from his Semi-Final match against Nick Kyrgios at Wimbledon earlier this summer and then suffered a Second Round loss against Borna Coric at the recent Cincinnati Masters.
Nadal is currently ranked number three and he is the main contender to finish the year as the world number one. The Spaniard has competed in only nine tour-level tournaments this year and reached at least the final in five of them.
Rafa is a four-time former US Open champion and has not lost a completed match in a Grand Slam this year.
Hijikata has won seven of his last ten matches on hard courts, including a runner-up finish at the M25 Columbus two weeks ago.
The 21-year-old Japanese-Australian has had a decent season so far, with most of his success coming on the ITF circuit.
His most recent match in a tour-level event was in Los Cabos where he lost to Daniil Medvedev. This clash will be Hijikata’s main-draw debut in Grand Slams, with his previous two campaigns in Grand Slams ending in the qualifying stages.
Our prediction for this clash is Under 28.5 Games at odds of 4/6 with Bet365.
Either Fabio Fognini or Aslan Karatsev will await the winner in the Second Round later in the week.
Nadal v Hijikata is available to watch via a live stream on desktop, mobile or tablet devices from approximately 12am BST.
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