Rafael Nadal vs Stefanos Tsitsipas: Nitto ATP Finals Preview and Prediction
Second seed Rafael Nadal sets up an exciting clash against the sixth seed, Stefanos Tsitsipas in the ATP Finals
- Rafael Nadal leads the head to head record 5-1 against Tsitsipas.
- With Dominic Thiem already qualified for the semifinals, this is a must-win match for both the players.
- The 'King of Clay' is a two-time runner up in the ATP Finals.
- Stefanos Tsitsipas is the defending champion.
- Nadal defeated Tsitsipas in three sets in last year's tournament.
Rafael Nadal suffered a narrow loss to Thiem. The Spaniard had some advantages in the first set and second set but failed to use it properly. It was his second consecutive defeat to the Austrian and he has lost the last five tiebreakers consecutively to Thiem.
Tsitsipas eked out a close three-set win against Andrey Rublev. He also saved a match point in the tiebreak of the deciding set when Rublev uncharacteristically committed a double fault.
Nadal is showing signs of comfort on the fast indoor hard courts by indulging in precise shotmaking and attacking baseline exchanges. The Spaniard has a much improved first serve now and incorporated a lot of clever variations into his game along with deep groundstrokes.
“It is an opportunity for me to fight even harder and give my very best out on the court, I know it will require a lot of physical effort, and I am going to have to go through a lot of pain and suffering, so it is going to be a difficult match, I am expecting a fight from my side," said Tsitsipas quite confident of his abilities ahead of the encounter against Nadal.
Tsitsipas's second serve has been shaky and he could win just 55% of his points. The Greek also converted only two out of nine break points against Rublev. He needs to start quickly off the blocks to unsettle the 13-time French Open champion.
Nadal would look to target Tsitsipas's backhand which has been off-color in the past two matches.
Prediction - Rafael Nadal to win in three sets.
Featured Image Credits - Getty Images