World number two Rafael Nadal and Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas will go head to head in the their final group match stage of the 2020 ATP finals at the O2 arena in London. The match is scheduled for Thursday, November 19 and will begin at 8 pm local time (3 pm Eastern Time). Get the live streaming options of this Rafael Nadal v Stefanos Tsitsipas match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Rafael Nadal v Stefanos Tsitsipas Head to Head
It’s a rather one-sided head to head so far with Nadal leading 5-1 on the tour (and 6-1 if one includes the Mubadala Exhibition competition earlier this year). Rather interestingly, Tsitsipas’ only win over Nadal came on the clay courts of the 2019 Madrid Masters while Nadal has beaten Tsitsipas twice on hard courts and once indoors – that victory coming in the previous year’s ATP Finals.
Despite that defeat to Nadal, Tsitsipas had gone to win the title in 2019, something that wouldn’t be possible this year. Whoever loses this match would get knocked out.
Nadal Happy Despite Dominic Defeat
While Nadal had kick-started his campaign with a straight-set drubbing of Andrey Rublev and then lost to Dominic Thiem, also in straight sets in his second match, the Spaniard has claimed he is far happier today than he was a few days ago. And that’s to do with the level of tennis the world number two played in his 6-7, 6-7 defeat at the hands of the Austrian.
There’s no doubting the tennis on display in the encounter was another level. And it was Thiem’s ability to win the big points that helped him edge ahead in a match that saw both players notch up just one break of serve apiece.
Those came late in the second set with Nadal drawing first blood to go 4-3 up only to lose serve the very next game. He went on to get an early mini-break in the tie-breaker too, but once Thiem found his rhythm, there was no looking back for the Austrian.
Earlier in the first set tie-breaker, Nadal blew away a 5-2 lead and two set-points to lose it 9-7.
Despite the defeat, Nadal’s performance in both his opening encounters leaves him with a very good chance of qualifying, needing to beat an opponent whom he has tamed well in the past.
Tsitsipas Survives Match-Point to Rublev
In a match of fluctuating fortunes, Tsitsipas came through against Andrey Rublev to keep his hopes of defending his title alive. In winning 6-1, 4-6, 7-6, Tsitsipas also knocked Rublev out of the competition, relegating him to his second successive defeat of the tournament.
Tsitsipas looked to be rolling on towards an easy win when he broke Rublev in the second game of the opening set and then again in the sixth before serving out in the next game to pouch the set.
The second set wasn’t as easy but Tsitsipas looked to be in a decent form with his serving and it looked headed towards a tie-breaker. However, serving at 4-5 to stay in the set, the Greek, almost unexpectedly dropped serve to love, and in turn lost the set.
He had his chances in the third game of the final set, but squandered five break-points and the rest of the set went on without a break of serve.
In the inevitable tie-breaker which followed, Tsitsipas was quick off the blocks as he went on to take a 5-2 lead, only to lose the next four points in a row to give Rublev a match-point. As it turned out, Rublev double-faulted, before falling away to an 8-6 defeat in one of the closest encounters in recent times.
Nadal v Tsitsipas Prediction and Tip
Nadal is a huge favourite in this one despite having lost to Thiem, starting out at 2/5, which incidentally are shorter odds than what he was at against Rublev in his opening match. We expect him to come through and we take it slightly further in saying it could well be a straight-set win.
Tip: Nadal to win: 2/5 (bet365)