Basel R2 preview and pick: Nadal vs. Dimitrov

The Grandstand

Nadal 2 USOIt was the unseeded player who had a much easier time advancing to the Basel second round, but both Rafael Nadal and Grigor Dimitrov managed to set up a blockbuster encounter on Wednesday. A place in the quarterfinals is at stake.

Rafael Nadal and Grigor Dimitrov will be facing each other for the seventh time in their careers when they collide in round two of the Swiss Indoors Basel on Wednesday night.

Nadal is sweeping the head-to-head series 6-0, including 3-0 on hard courts. Only their first-ever meeting came indoors, with the Spaniard surviving 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 at the 2009 Rotterdam event. Dimitrov took a set in each of their first four encounters, but Nadal blitzed through the last two. The current world No. 7 cruised 6-2, 6-2 last year in the Rome semifinals and 6-3, 6-4 earlier this season in the Madrid quarters.

This showdown came perilously close to…

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