Spaniard Rafael Nadal faces Dominic Thiem in what sounds like a mouth-watering clash at the 2021 Adelaide Exhibition on Friday, January 29, with the match likely to begin at around 7 pm local time (11.30 am BST or 5.30 am Eastern Time). Get the live streaming options of this Rafael Nadal v Dominic Thiem match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Rafael Nadal v Dominic Thiem Head to Head
The players have met each other 15 times on the tour, with Nadal leading the head-to – head 9-6. Thiem has won three of their last four encounters, including both meetings in 2020, at the Australian Open and the ATP Tour Finals in London.
Nadal Hoping For Better Luck Down Under
World number two Rafael Nadal needs no introduction, as he begins 2021 in search of the elusive Grand Slam number 21. Referred to as the ‘King of Clay’ with 13 French Open titles, he is no stranger to hard courts with four US Open titles and one Australian Open title.
Nadal won his only Australian Open in 2009, and will be well and truly looking to add to the count this year at Melbourne Park.
Over the last decade, the Australian Open has not been the kindest to the Spaniard, with injuries, withdrawals and two heartbreaking final losses in 2012 and 2017 to his arch rivals Djokovic and Federer, respectively. Back Down Under again, Nadal will be well aware that despite Federer missing among the Big Three, the challenge is more stern this year with the likes of Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev being strong title contenders, alongside the world number one and two.
Nadal will be looking to make the most of the Adelaide exhibition this week, and ATP Cup next week, to get himself into good touch for the grand slam, which is now less than two weeks away.
Thiem Looking At A Strong 2021
2020 was a good year for Dominic Thiem, who ended at a career high world number three ranking, within striking distance of the top ranked players, Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nafal. Over the last two seasons, Thiem has gradually evolved from a clay court specialist to a seasoned and one of the best players on the hard courts.
The Indian Wells Masters 1000 title in 2019, consecutive years of being the runner-up at the ATP Tour Finals in London, Australian Open 2020 runner-up and winning his first US Open title last year are all evidence to the force that the Austrian is on the surface.
With the monkey off his back of winning his first ever major now, victories against both Djokovic and Nadal in recent times, and increased belief in his abilities, Thiem will be hoping for his best season yet and no better way to achieve that than a strong start Down Under.
Nadal v Thiem Prediction and Tip
These two rivals have had some thrilling encounters between them with high quality tennis, and this promises to be another exciting match, albeit an exhibition. The Austrian, Thiem has proven himself to be one of the best hard court players in the world at the moment. Expect to bring his year-end 2020 form on the faster surfaces to Adelaide and prevail!
Tip: Thiem to win: 4/5 (bet365)
The 2021 A Day at the Drive will be played on January 29. You can watch all these matches with Channel Nine in Australia or live stream it with 9Now there. In the UK, these matches will be broadcast live on Eurosport Player. Get your latest premium tennis predictions here.