Looking back on their first meeting, Nadal said: “Was a tough one, that one, I remember because I was playing for the No. 1.
“He played great. Honestly, he was very young and he played with amazing intensity and creating amazing shots. Yeah, as everybody knows, is one of the players with the biggest potential on the tour.”
He also made a bold claim, hailing the 22-year-old as a future multiple Grand Slam champion, echoing his words from their meeting in Canada four and a half years ago.
“I mean, when I played against him, after the match I said he gonna be potential multi-Grand Slam winner. And I still think that if he’s able to keep improving, he will be a multi-Grand Slam winner, no?” the 20-time Major champion predicted.
“He has a lot of amazing things on his game, and his results says that. When he’s playing well, it’s very difficult to stop him.
“You can see today against a great player like Sascha, straight sets, if he’s able to play regular in terms of his level, yeah, gonna be a potential very high-ranking player.
“Gonna be a tough one for me. But I in quarterfinals, what to expect, no? I mean, is a match to try my best, to play at my highest level if I want to have chances to go through. And, yeah, I’m excited about it, honestly, no? I didn’t expect to be where I am weeks ago.”