The ATP Finals heat up on Tuesday with a star studded matchup between Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem. The Spaniard and Austrian are ranked No. 2 and No. 3 in the world for what promises to be a heavyweight bout. Nadal is the favourite and will undoubtedly attract more money than Thiem. However, Thiem certainly has a chance to win this. He’s beaten Nadal before in a big spot, most recently in the Australian Open in January by 3 sets to 1. According to the betting odds, it would be an upset if Thiem wins this group stage match over Nadal, but not the way I see it.
The No. 1 ranked player in the world was in action against No. 8, Argentinian Diego Schwartzman. After suffering a huge upset against Lorenzo Sonego in the Vienna Open, Novak Djokovic was able to bounce back in fine form yesterday. The match was never in question, as Djokovic toyed with Schwartzman for a 6-3, 6-2 win. I thought Schwartzman was going to provide a little more resistance than he did, at least for a set, but a straight set win for Djokovic was no shocker. We had Djokovic to win by two sets, so it was a no sweat win on the Serb.
Djokovic will meet with Daniil Medvedev in the next round after he took care of Alexander Zverev on Monday. Many were questioning Djokovic following the loss to the Italian in Vienna. However, even the best players need a wakeup call occasionally. It’s better to come in the Vienna Open rather than a major tournament. If Djokovic keeps his composure and focus against Medvedev, he should be able to handle him as well.
Schwartzman is not a pushover of an opponent. He’s No. 8 in the world, so the way Joker beat a top-10 player was really impressive. He appears back on track now, which is bad news for the rest of the ATP Finals field. It’s likely that Djokovic sees either Nadal or Thiem in the final round of the ATP Finals. This match is going to have big implications for how the rest of the tournament plays out. It’s going to be a must-watch match between Nadal and Thiem on Tuesday in London. I’m just hoping for an entertaining meeting. Head below for our free Dominic Thiem vs. Rafael Nadal pick for November 17, 2020.
Dominic Thiem vs. Rafael Nadal ATP Finals Betting Odds:
Dominic Thiem vs. Rafael Nadal Prediction:
Rafael Nadal has a 9-5 advantage on Dominic Them in their careers. However, Thiem has a major win over Nadal to tilt some bragging rights in his direction. Thiem and Nadal met at the most recent Australian Open, with Thiem emerging a winner 7-6, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 winner. Every set provided edge of the seat action, with Thiem and Nadal dueling down to the wire in the first, second, and fourth set.
That’s the second close battle between Thiem and Nadal at a major tournament in the last two years. Nadal survived against Thiem in the US Open in 2018, as he won 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7, 7-6. It had to go to a fifth and decisive set to decide a winner. There was no other way to decide that thrilling match.
Nadal is coming off a textbook 6-3, 6-4 win to get his ATP Finals started against Andrey Rublev. No surprise there against Rublev, as Nadal did what was expected of him. Just like Djokovic, Nadal lost an upset recently. He was cut down by Alexander Zvrev in Paris in straight sets 6-4, 7-5. Nadal, like Djokovic, responded nicely in his next match.
Thiem was defeated by Rublev in the Vienna Open on October 30. Needless to say, Paris or Vienna didn’t bring out the best of the No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 rated players in the world. Thiem responded with a 7-6, 4-6, 6-3 win over Stefanos Tsitsipas in his first match of the ATP Finals. I suspect that a match against Nadal should motivate Thiem on Tuesday. This should be a tight match. The OVER appears like the right side.