Fifth seed Rafael Nadal takes on unseeded Nicolas Mahut in the Men's singles fourth-round of 2017 Miami Open at Crandon Park, Florida on Tuesday.
The 14-time Grand Slam winner survived a hard-fought third-round match against Philipp Kohlschreiber that extended to 23 games. Nadal, who was looking patchy early on, was blanked in the first set 6-0 by the German, who had no clue against the former, who made a strong comeback in the next two sets to take the match 0-6, 6-2, 6-3. On the other hand, Mahut decimated Argentina's Guido Pella 6-4, 6-3 on Sunday.
Nadal, after earning a win in his typical hard-fought manner in his landmark 1000th tour outing, would want to win his maiden title in Miami and the four-time finalist is looking set after having a solid start to the new season. Nadal has slipped in the title match of two tournaments this season (Australian Open - Roger Federer, Acapulco - Sam Querrey) and suffered a fourth-round exit at Indian Wells after defeat to to his arch Swiss rival.
However, with the withdrawals of top-ranked Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic and a possible semi-final meeting against second seed Kei Nishikori, the 30-year-old has a bright chance to go the distance in Miami. Nadal should not have trouble disposing off his French opponent later today as the latter has been quite under-par in the new season.
Mahut has suffered four first-round exits this season (Sydney, Australian Open, Rotterdam and Indian Wells) but has found his form in the ongoing tournament, progressing past his first three-round opponents after dropping only one set. Despite having beaten Nadal once in their two career meetings, the world number 55 is in for a steep task today against his in-form opponent.
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