The first semifinal of the Mubadala World Tennis Championships will feature the World No. 2 Rafael Nadal going up against the South African No. 1 Kevin Anderson.
Watch & bet on Kevin Anderson v Rafael Nadal live in the Mubadala World Tennis Championships with bet365 here* on Friday, December 28. The match begins at 5:00 pm local time (1:00 am GMT).
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Anderson got to a rocky start in Mubadala against his South Korean counterpart Hyeon Chung. The veteran South African struggled in the first set and end up losing it 7-6(4) in the tiebreak. Thereafter, Anderson found his rhythm and quickly dispatched Chung with 6-2, 6-1.
He will now face the Spaniard Nadal, who has had a phenomenal season in 2018 despite his injury setbacks.
Anderson v Nadal Head to Head
The two players have met each other a total of five times on the ATP Tour so far. Nadal leads Anderson by a dominating 5-0 lead.
Their most recent encounter took place in the final of the US Open 2017. Back then, Anderson had to settle for the runners-up trophy, having lost to Nadal in straight sets. However, that defeat marked the start of an impeccable year that Anderson moved on to have in 2018.
Anderson’s Record-Breaking Season
Anderson, who finished the year as the World No. 6 with two singles titles, had a win-loss record of 47-19. While it may not seem to be that impressive, it is worth noting that he started the year as the World No. 14. This is definitely impressive, given that he was battling with injuries just two years ago.
His rise to prominence came on account of his breathtaking performances in several major tournaments. Despite not being able to go the distance, he did more than enough to make sure of a top 10 finish.
He was the runner-up at the Tata Open, ATP Acapulco, and the Wimbledon. His best run, for obvious reasons, came at the SW19, where he defeated the likes of Gael Monfils, Roger Federer, and John Isner to reach the final. However, he ultimately lost to Novak Djokovic.
Later in the year, he won the ATP 500 Series event in Vienna and subsequently qualified for the ATP World Tour Finals. He made it as far as the semifinals where he succumbed to Djokovic once again.
Nadal’s Near-Flawless Run in 2018
The Spaniard enjoyed a brilliant run in the season behind us. He won five singles titles and ended the year with a win-loss record of 45-4. He won the French Open, Italian Masters, and the Rogers Cup.
He could have quite possibly gone the distance at the US Open as well, but he retired in his semifinal match against Juan Martin Del Potro. It was an injury he picked up there and consequently, he was forced to miss out on the ATP World Tour Finals as well.
Despite the injuries, he finished the year as the World No. 2. His pre-season preparations have gone quite well too. He appears to be confident and ready to roar into the new year. His upcoming fixture against Anderson will give us a good idea of well he is doing.
Additionally, his schedule for the 2019 ATP Season has him play in Sydney, Brisbane, and finally at the Australian Open. Needless to mention, he will be eager to win this game against Anderson and kick-start the year on a winning note.
Nadal vs. Anderson – Who will win?
Nadal, holding an insurmountable lead over his South African adversary, is set to start as the favorite to win. We can expect him to reach the final in straight sets comfortably.
You can watch Rafael Nadal v Kevin Anderson match in the Mubadala World Tennis Championships live on bet365. It will be played on Friday, December 28, at 5:00 pm local time (1:00 pm GMT).