Second seeded Rafael Nadal will be up against the fifth seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas in one of the quarterfinals of the 2021 Australian Open on Wednesday, February 17, with the match likely to begin at around 11 am local time (12 noon BST or 7 pm Eastern Time previous day). 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
There have been seven previous matches between these two players and Nadal leads 6-1. Tsitsipas’s only win over Nadal had come in the 2019 Madrid Masters while the Spaniard has beaten in their previous three meetings – at the 2019 Rome Masters and ATP Finals, and the 2020 ATP Finals.
Nadal Comes Through without Trouble
Such has been Nadal’s dominance in the sport that at times even a straight-set win sounds like he has been stretched – you expect him to come through without an iota of trouble. Nadal needed two hours and 19 minutes to get through to the quarterfinals, beating Italy’s Fabio Fognini in the process and at times, it looked like his opponent could make a match out of it.
In the first set, for instance, Nadal broke Fognini early but was broken right back before the Spaniard forged ahead again. The second set saw Fognini draw first blood on Nadal’s serve taking a 4-2 lead in the process only for the world number two to then grab four games in a row and win the set.
It was finally in the third set that Nadal made it look easier than earlier, clinching it 6-2 with two breaks of serves.
This makes it four successive straight-set wins for Nadal for someone who had had to give the ATP Cup a miss because of his back-related issues.
Can he now grab that extra gear against a player of that kind of a pedigree?
Tsitsipas Aided by Berrettini Withdrawal
Matteo Berrettini was always up against time when he injured himself in his third round win over Karen Khachanov, so much so he couldn’t recover in time for his fourth round encounter against Tsitsipas. He withdrew from the match, giving the Greek a free pass to the quarterfinal where he will face a fierce rival and a player he has always found difficult to defeat.
Earlier in the tournament, Tsitsipas had been tested by Thanasi Kokkinakis, where he needed five sets to edge past the Aussie in his second round match. A straight-set win on either side of that victory, against Gilles Simon and Mikael Ymer, was followed by this withdrawal from Berrettini, leaving Tsitsipas with enough time to have recovered from his second round encounter.
Which is also why when he takes to court against the world number two, he would be extremely fresh, evening the battle out a tad against a player suffering from a back injury.
Nadal v Tsitsipas Prediction and Tip
Nadal starts off at 4/9 to win this, and we are backing him to take this encounter. The question is whether Tsitsipas can give Nadal a fight before that happens, and we believe it woul and hence the games market is the place to be.
Tip: Over 38.5 games in the match: 5/6 (bet365)