Cincinnati, Ohio (August 15th, 2013)- The match up is SET. World no. 3 Rafael Nadal will take on World no.5 Roger Federer on Center Court at 7:00PM in the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Open. This will be the 31st meeting between the two long time rivals, Nadal leads the all-time series 20-10. The two have played twice in 2013, Nadal taking both of those matches in straight sets. Nadal has yet to lose on hard-courts this year on what generally is considered his worst surface (13-0).
This rivalry started off down in Florida at the Miami Masters in 2004, where 17 year old Rafael Nadal defeated the 22 year old Roger Federer in straight sets. (Federer was nursing a foot injury throughout the tournament) Since then the two have matched up 29 other times, 8 of those matches were in grand slam finals in which Nadal leads 6-2. These two spent 211 consecutive weeks as world no.1 & no.2 from July of 2005 to August of 2009, that is the record for the longest reign between two players holding the no.1 & 2 spots in tennis history. (Andy Murray took the world no.2 from Nadal in August of 2009).
This match up will come in an outdoor venue on a hard court, Nadal leads the overall series 6-2 on hard-courts in an outdoor venue, but is 0-4 lifetime against Federer on an indoor hard-court venue. Both players are a combined 80-13 this year, 50 of those wins belonging to Nadal with 10 of those loses belonging to Federer.
PREDICTION: Nadal has been the best player in tennis in 2013 posting a 50-3 match record. Federer has not been up to Federer standards partly because he is an aging player and he has been play testing a new 98 sq. in. frame. Federer went back to the old stick (Pro Staff Six One 90) for this tournament and will play with it through the U.S. Open (he has points to defend at both tournaments). This match will go three sets. 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3 NADAL