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Monday, August 8, 2022

French Open Day 8 Predictions Including Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic can setup their French Open Quarterfinal clash if they can get past Felix Auger-Aliassime and Diego Schwartzman in the round of 16 at Roland Garros. Our panelists have predictions for every day 8 match in Paris, as Carlos Alcaraz also looks to maintain his momentum.

Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Rafael Nadal

Jakub Bobro: Since his first-round stumble against Juan Pablo Varillas, Auger-Aliassime has been great, especially in his third-round clash against Filip Krajinovic. The 21-year-old took it in three tight sets and has now reached the second week at all four slams. Nadal has been absolutely ruthless, yet to drop more than four games in a set here, most recently beating Botic Van De Zandschulp. Auger-Aliassime will be Nadal’s biggest challenge yet but unless he shows something special, it is tough to see an upset. Nadal in 4

Damian Kust: An interesting clash between the two proteges of Toni Nadal, although Felix Auger-Aliassime’s coach said he won’t be in his box during this one and won’t help him find the tactics to beat his nephew. Thankfully for the Canadian, he’s watched enough of Rafael Nadal over the years to know what he should be doing. However, that’s what all the opponents of the Spaniard in Paris thought and almost all of them failed. Nadal’s foot hasn’t been acting up yet and he’s kept the matches short, which screams trouble for Auger-Aliassime. Nadal in 4

Novak Djokovic vs Diego Schwartzman

Jakub: Djokovic continues to be stellar, only losing more than three games in a set once in nine sets at this Roland Garros so far. Schwartzman allowed Grigor Dimitrov just six games in their third-round match, though the 0-6 head-to-head with the Serb means we should not expect a particularly even match. Djokovic in 3

Damian: Diego Schwartzman is certainly capable of troubling Novak Djokovic, but beating him in the best-of-five format seems very tough. What doesn’t help is that the Serbian has been immaculate so far, not dropping a set and never really looking as if he was in trouble. He’s never lost to Schwartzman before and I seriously doubt this will be the first time. Djokovic in 4

Alexander Zverev vs Bernabe Zapata Miralles

Jakub: Zverev once again had to come back from two sets to love down early at a slam, this time against Sebastian Baez in the second round. The third seed looked more solid in his third round win over Brandon Nakashima. Zapata Miralles is having the run of his life here but the Isner match took a lot out of him. Despite that, the Spaniard will still make Zverev play the extra ball and could cause some trouble if the German is misfiring. Zverev in 4

Damian: It’s a phenomenal story for Bernabe Zapata Miralles, who almost went out in the final round of the qualifying, before making the second week of a Major for the very first time and securing a top 100 debut. The Spaniard has a great forehand and a clay-court game that belongs on the main tour, but he’s running into an opponent that’s presumably out of his range here. Favorable draw for Alexander Zverev, who had his only tough opponent so far in the second round. Zverev in 3

Carlos Alcaraz vs Karen Khachanov

Jakub: After struggling through his second-round match against Albert Ramos-Vinolas, Alcaraz looked much better in his win over Sebastian Korda. Khachanov has won all his matches in four sets, most recently over Cameron Norrie. The two have not met before but Alcaraz should be the favorite here by a decent margin. Alcaraz in 4

Damian: Cameron Norrie was perceived as a potentially tricky matchup for Carlos Alcaraz, but instead, he’s going to face Karen Khachanov. Like Norrie, the Russian will enjoy playing Alcaraz more in slower, heavier conditions. However, he’ll also provide a much faster-paced ball with more common types of spins, which should allow the Spaniard to get going as early as he did in his third round against Sebastian Korda. Alcaraz in 4

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