Australian Open Day 8 Men’s Predictions Including Fabio Fognini vs Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal in action at the Australian Open

Day eight at the Australian Open will see the bottom half of the men’s draw battle for a place in the quarterfinals, with four of the world’s top ten in action. As ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the slate, with our panel of Jim Smith, Harsh Bhoot and Damian Kust making their picks. But who will reach the last eight?

Australian Open Day Eight Predictions

Andrey Rublev vs Casper Ruud

Jim: Casper Ruud has enjoyed a fine week in Melbourne, one that should stand him in good stead for the rest of the season. But it is hard to see him getting the better of Andrey Rublev. The Russian is in superb form and should be able to hit through Ruud from the baseline, despite the 22-year-old’s fine court coverage.

Prediction: Rublev in 3

Damian: Is Rublev ready to contend for a Grand Slam title? It might be too early to tell but in the form, that he’s in, anything is possible. Ruud has been improving his hard-court game and this fourth-round berth is a nice reward. But taking out Rublev would be a completely different story and his chances against the in-form Russian look very slim.

Prediction: Rublev in 3

Harsh: Rublev is in the form of his life and at the moment nothing seems like anything can stop him. He’s been playing the game the way he wants and that’s not good news for the rest of the field. The Russian can’t seem to lose and while Ruud is a great prospect, the Norwegian isn’t getting past the red-hot Russian.

Prediction: Rublev in 3
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Mackenzie McDonald vs Daniil Medvedev

Jim: Mackenzie McDonald is a much better player than his ranking of world #192 suggests. However, he is still not in Daniil Medvedev’s class. The Russian has, for the most part, looked sharp so far at the Australian Open and although the conditions do not suit his game perfectly, he should prove too strong for McDonald.

Prediction: Medvedev in 3

Damian: Medvedev struggled physically against Filip Krajinovic, before finally settling down and winning in the deciding set. There is no way to tell if that will have any impact on his next match. McDonald finally looks close to his form before he picked up a serious hamstring injury and has managed to tie his best Grand Slam result. Still, the American doesn’t really possess the calibre of weaponry that could do damage to Medvedev if the Russian is fit.

Prediction: Medvedev in 3

Harsh: It was a weird match for Medvedev against Krajinovic. However, the Russian will only focus on the fact that he put everything behind him and bagelled his opponent in the fifth. That’s the kind of player he is when he’s in the zone. McDonald has lost to Medvedev in both their previous meetings and the American has an extremely stern task ahead. He plays an aggressive brand of tennis and unfortunately for him the Russian is one of the best counter-punchers on tour.

Prediction: Medvedev in 3

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Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Matteo Berrettini

Jim: Stefanos Tsitsipas was given a real scare by Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round, with the Australian extending him to five sets, but he bounced back impressively to thrash Mikael Ymer for the loss of only six games. Matteo Berrettini, meanwhile, has played some fine tennis, but he has lost both of his previous meetings with the Greek and does not possess such a developed game.

Prediction: Tsitsipas in 4

Damian: An absolute blockbuster, but it might be ruined by injury issues. Matteo Berrettini’s serve speeds were way down in the third set against Karen Khachanov due to an abdominal injury, his forehand also looked hampered. He somehow got over the finish line, but it wasn’t looking good. At his best, he would have a very good shot at Tsitsipas, but a full recovery seems unlikely.

Prediction: Tsitsipas in 4

Harsh: In their past two meetings, they’ve played five tiebreaks which is a testament to how well they compete against each other. The Italian had a fabulous ATP Cup and is backing it up here. Berrettini possesses a formidable forehand and serve, but his backhand still has room for improvement. It is that wing that Tsitsipas will target, but that’s easier said than done, with Berrettini protecting his backhand very well. Expect a gruelling contest with the Greek just edging it.

Prediction: Tsitsipas in 5
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Fabio Fognini vs Rafael Nadal

Jim: After a rather indifferent display against Salvatore Caruso in the second round, Fabio Fognini was back to something approaching his best against Alex de Minaur and dismissed the Australian in straight-sets. That suggests he might well be able to trouble Nadal, who is not fully fit. But the Spaniard should still have enough to get past the 16th seed.

Prediction: Nadal in 4

Damian: Fognini managed to maintain his concentration for the whole match against de Minaur and we know how dangerous an opponent the Italian can be. Perhaps not having the crowd in the stands is actually allowing him to focus on the most important thing – tennis. Despite a healthy head-to-head lead, Nadal can struggle in this matchup. The Spaniard has also been serving slower than usual, trying to preserve his slightly injured back. This will be the first time we get to see how much of an issue that is for Nadal. This could be a classic.

Prediction: Nadal in 5

Harsh: Their previous 16 matches have produced some scintillating contests. Nadal had to battle hard and that puts him in good stead to take on Fognini, who’s been on a roll this past week. The Italian is one of the few players on tour who can take the ball on his backhand side and rush Nadal. The Spaniard can sometimes play too defensively against Fognini. However, Nadal has been at his aggressive best this week and one feels there’s still a couple more levels to his game. Expect Fognini to go for everything, but Nadal’s quality is just too good from the baseline.

Prediction: Nadal in 4

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1 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I agree with most of the calls, but not with Fognini. I pick him in 4. His games were very straight forward and better competition. Nadal didn’t really have any competition. This will be his first.

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