Nadal to play Medvedev in the semifinals after dispatching Tsitsipas 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in the last round-robin match. The outcome of Djokovic versus Zverev on Friday will decided the other semifinal.
Tsitsipas versus Nadal
The three set duel between Nadal and Tsitsipas was reminiscent of their 2019 match here. And, in line with our prediction, it went in favor of the bull this year too. With the win, Nadal made the semifinals here after five years and improved to 6-1 against Tsitsipas.
“It’s always a good feeling when you are playing well and you’re playing against the best players of the world,” Rafa said. “You know you’re going to be a tough fight. That’s what happened tonight. I was able to find a way to win. Very happy.”
Nadal appears upbeat about his prospects at the event this year. He could not make semifinals in 2019 even after winning two of three group stage matches.
“An important match for me. Last year I was not able to be in the semi-finals, winning two matches, too. This year I am,” Nadal said. “I needed to win that match, and I did it. I had a good reaction later, but I was playing I think a great level of tennis for almost two sets.”
Rafael Nadal, in the end, played well enough to get the job done and give himself a shot at winning the trophy.
Nadal to play Medvedev in the semifinals
Rafa will play Medvedev in the semifinals on Saturday. And, his entry into the final depends on his performance against Medvedev in the semifinals. Daniil lost the round-robin match to Nadal from 5-1 up in the third last year. He, however, learnt from that 2019 loss, and hasn’t dropped a set here this year.
Medvedev’s flat ground shots and powerful serve pose a real risk for Nadal on the faster indoor courts at O2 arena. Daniil also moves exceptionally well for his height and is not shy of engaging in protracted exchanges from the baseline.
Conclusion: If Medvedev can hold it together mentally, the match is on his racket. He cannot allow Rafa’s defense to get under his skin. Rafa, on the other hand, must play aggressive, employ net approaches, and his exceptional volleying skills to keep Daniil real and, hopefully, take him down in three. Medvedev, we believe, enjoys an ever so slight an advantage on the indoor courts against Rafa and, should prevail in the semis.