Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem: Nitto ATP Finals Preview and Prediction
Second seed Rafael Nadal sets up a scintillating showdown against the third seed, Dominic Thiem in the ATP Finals
- Nadal leads the head to head record 9-5 against Thiem.
- This is their first-ever meeting on indoor hard courts.
- Both Nadal and Thiem are targetting their maiden ATP Finals title.
- Nadal has lost two finals in the history of the ATP Finals while Thiem lost last year's finals to Stefanos Tsitsipas.
- Nadal has won 70 matches in a row after winning the first set.
- The Spaniard has 19 wins and 14 losses in the ATP Finals.
Rafael Nadal was ruthless against Andrey Rublev as he dispatches him 6-3 6-4.
It was the first time that the Spaniard had won his opening encounter of the ATP Finals since 2015. He did not face even a single breakpoint in the match and dispatched clean winners from the baseline by being more proactive on his return.
On the other hand, Thiem got sweet revenge by outlasting Tsitsipas 7-6 4-6 6-3.
His forehand was struck like a missile and he also made liberal use of his clever slice backhand to put the Greek on the wrong foot.
Nadal has made smart changes to his game to suit the conditions and is playing with more aggression and freedom utilizing his strong returns to usurp the Russian in just 77 minutes. Thiem has to make variations to his serve and play mostly from behind the baseline if he wants to unsettle the 20-time grand slam champion.
Nadal's first serves were at around 120 mph while his second serves were hovering around the 100 mph mark.
"I think I played a smart match, so I'm pretty happy with this victory, it was a tough opponent and a tough match, for many different reasons, and tactically I think I played it well," said Nadal after his comprehensive victory against Rublev.
"Dominic has been improving his game every year and deserves all the successes as a hard worker, it will be a great challenge to play against him, I must try to play at my highest level, otherwise it will be impossible to beat him," said Nadal praising the Austrian ahead of the clash.
Thiem has shown no signs of the foot injury which forced him to skip the Paris Masters. Nadal should attack right from the start and ensure that his serve stays strong throughout the match.
Prediction - Rafael Nadal to win in three sets
Featured Image Credits - Associated Press