Rafael Nadal faces Grigor Dimitrov on Thursday in Round 3 of the 2013 Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. The match is slated for 7 p.m. ET. Watch the live stream HERE.
Nadal is the King of Clay, but his performance as of late on hard courts has been astounding. He nabbed his third Rogers Cup title last week and jumped right into the Cincinnati Masters. He dropped Benjamin Becker in two sets (6-2, 6-2) and looked primed to win his first Western & Southern Open.
Despite the convincing win over Becker, the Spaniard admitted it's not easy to play in back-to-back tournaments - not only because of fatigue, but also the change of venue.
"When you change cities, change a little bit of weather, the feelings on the ball is different," Nadal told ATPWorldTour.com. "The speed of the court is not exactly the same. It's a little bit slower here than in Montreal. And when you have these kind of tournaments back to back it's not easy, but I'm very happy with the way I played this afternoon and the way that I adapted the game."
The World No. 3 can extend his hard-court winning streak to 12 matches with victory over Dimitrov on Thursday.
Dimitrov, ranked No. 29 in the World, has a 26-17 record this season with zero ATP titles. The Bulgarian dropped Nicolas Almagro in the opening round (7-6, 6-4), and then Brian Baker in the second round (6-3, 6-2).
The two have met twice in head-to-head bouts. Nadal won both matches, with the latest victory happening this year at Monte-Carlo (6-2, 2-6, 6-4). The other match was on the hard court of Rotterdam in 2009, where Nadal won in three sets.
*Stats via ATPWorldTour.com and MatchStat.com.