The second men’s quarter final to take place today in Miami will be contested between 14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal, and the American number 1 Jack Sock. The two will battle it out under the beaming lights of Stadium Court in the day’s final match. All of the signs of a classic match are present as the world will sit back and enjoy.
2017 has been an incredible year thus far for both of these players. A year that has seen a resurgence in form to Rafael Nadal who went through an injury littered 2016. The Spaniard has made two finals this season. Most notably the Australian Open final where he was just edged out by Roger Federer in a mouthwatering clash. Nadal also made the final of Acapulco only to meet an inspired Sam Querry in the final. Surprisingly, the Miami Open eludes Nadal despite reaching the final on four separate occasions. However, the Spaniard will go into this match against Sock with tremendous confidence and he will be hoping to win his maiden Miami Open title come Sunday.
Jack Sock has arguably been the most consistent on the masters circuit in recent months. Only the American has made the quarter finals or better of the past 4 masters series events. Sock will be confident of his chances to at least go one better here in Miami after a superb start to the season from him. He started the year in immense fashion by winning his second career title in Auckland. Sock followed this up by winning another title just over a month later in Delray Beach. Sock’s form has seen those in the tennis world put him as a contender to qualify for the Tour Finals.
Both players are known to possess forehands that produce some of the most top spin on the tour. Nadal has the better all round game than Sock and there is no doubt the Spaniard goes into the match as the favourite, but not overwhelmingly so. Nadal leads the head to head 2-0. Their first meeting was on the red clay of Roland Garros in 2015. The 9-time French Open champion prevailed in four sets on that occassion. Their only other meeting came in the quarter finals of the ATP 500 event in Beijing, again in 2015. Nadal overcame a one set deficit to beat Sock, however both of them are much better players now then they were then which should make this match all the more intriguing.
I do think we will witness an electric atmosphere in the Stadium Court. The crowd will be split between the universally adored Rafael Nadal and the home favourite Jack Sock. Nonetheless I see Nadal taking the win in two tight sets in a match that will live long in the memory.