Rafael Nadal vs Daniil Medvedev - Rogers Cup Finals - Preview and Prediction
The defending champion and World number 2- Rafael Nadal had luck on his side as the game's most athletic and entertaining player Gael Monfils withdrew due to an ankle sprain from the much-awaited semifinal. Monfils had to pull out all the tricks in his bag to oust the Spaniard World number 13 - Roberto Bautista Agut. Fatigue finally caught up with Monfils after the marathon two and a half hours encounter.
On the other head, Daniil Medvedev made light work of his fellow countryman Karen Khachanov dismissing him in straight sets 6-1 7-6. With this performance, Medvedev has reached his first ATP Masters 1000 final and also back to back finals in two weeks after his runner-up finish in the Washington Open ATP 500 where he lost narrowly to Nick Kyrgios. Consistency has been the hallmark of Medvedev this year as he has reached five ATP finals and broken into the top 10 in the world rankings. A spot in the year-end ATP finals awaits him.
Rafael Nadal has created some more records en route to another final. He surpassed Federer's record of 378 ATP Masters 1000 wins and also reached an all time high of 51 ATP Masters 1000 finals surpassing his closest rivals- Federer and Djokovic. Nadal will be gunning for his 35th ATP Masters 1000 title, 5th Rogers cup title and 3rd title of 2019 after triumphing twice on clay in Rome and Roland Garros. His prowess on clay surface is known but he has played his best tennis in this hard-court tournament.
The interesting fact is that Medvedev has played Djokovic and Federer seven times in total but will be meeting the lefty Nadal for the first time on the tour. Nadal will be looking to turn the unfavourable record of never defending a hard court title in his career.
Nadal would be benefited from more rest and energy as he has played one match less than Medvedev. He also got a two-day break after his win over Fognini in three sets in the quarterfinals.
There was a bit of drama as well as Nick Kyrgios predicted his close friend Daniil Medvedev to win the title ahead of Nadal. The fans know that Nadal and Kyrgios are not on good terms after Nadal blasted him for his attitude after edging past him in Acapulco Open 2019 in 3 sets while Kyrgios shot back at Nadal describing him as a super salty person. Nadal got his revenge after beating him in Wimbledon second round in 4 sets in an entertaining encounter which had a boxing bout kind of atmosphere with racquet smashes, hitting the opponent with the ball, underarm serves and tirades with the chair umpire all playing a part.
Medvedev has nothing to lose while Nadal will be under pressure defending his title with everything to win.
A statistical analysis of Nadal and Medvedev in this tournament ahead of the final
Strengths and Weakness of Nadal
Nadal's strength lies in his vast experience, giving his best for the big occasion, fighting spirit with a never say die attitude, supreme defense and excellent ability to fight off any critical situation.
Nadal's weakness lies in the fact that a slight drop in his intensity can lead to the surrender of a set leaving him at a disadvantage. He must watch out for repetitive mistakes and must be sharp at the net and engage in shorter rallies if he wants to win the final in straight sets and take the title.
Strengths and Weakness of Medvedev
Medvedev's strength lies in his strong serve-volley game and has a knack of winning in 3 sets against top players. He is the man to beat given his rich vein of form. Medvedev slowly pins down his opponent by engaging them in long and tiring rallies pushing them all around the court. He will be looking to do the same against Nadal.
Medvedev's weakness is his state of mind ahead of the final. He has not put a foot wrong in this tournament and has given his best but nerves might get better of him in the final as he is against one of the best players in the world and the top seed of the tournament.
Prediction- Rafael Nadal to win in three sets