ATP Cup Final 2020 – Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

Where is Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal taking place? Ken Rosewall Arena, Sydney, Australia

When is Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal on? Sunday 12th January, 2020 – not before 08:30 (UK)

What channel is Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal on? This match will not be televised live in the UK

Where can I stream Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal? Amazon Prime subscribers can stream the match via Amazon Prime Video

Where can I get tickets for Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal? https://www.atpcup.com/tickets

Who won the last meeting between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal? Rafael Nadal beat Novak Djokovic 6-0, 4-6, 6-1

THE LOWDOWN

NOVAK DJOKOVIC

  • Novak Djokovic played an arduous three-set match with Daniil Medvedev on the knife-edge of Serbia qualifying for the finals of the inaugural ATP Cup but came through in the deciding set in just under three hours.
  • The world number two’s win over Medvedev sets a precedent for the season too, as the Russian was one win away from levelling their head-to-head record at 3-3 but Djokovic beat him for the first time since the Australian Open last year.
  • 32-year-old Djokovic’s long and detailed history with Rafael Nadal looks to continue into a new decade here with the head-to-head record currently standing at 26-24 to the Serb.

RAFAEL NADAL

  • Rafael Nadal lost his first service game in the first set to Australia’s Alex de Minaur with the crowd pushing the youngster on but he rallied just in time in the second to break for 7-5 and then dominated the decider.
  • The world number one has not looked himself on court in Sydney which begs several questions as to his overall fitness, as his performances in the group stages in Perth were dominant.
  • Nadal has also had the benefit of following on from Roberto Bautista Agut’s wins in the first matches of all of Spain’s ties thus far, so RBA’s performance will be pivotal to the result of this match and the overall tie.

THE PREDICTION

This is the match that many tennis fans craved for the end of year ATP Finals last season, the US Open before it and indeed the Davis Cup in November, where Spain beat Serbia’s conquerors Canada for the title instead. In a twist of sporting fate, the world number one and two will now face each other in the first significant final of 2020. This is the first time the two have met since Nadal usurped Djokovic as world number one and there is plenty on the line here for both individuals in a match that will eclipse the international stage on which they face each other.

Around this time last year, Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal to the Australian Open title on a hard court before Nadal returned the favour on his favoured clay at the Rome Masters. Matches of this size between two of the game’s elite are always unpredictable and rest on fine details, but in this case it may be easier to suggest that the Serb can edge this battle. In all probability, Roberto Bautista Agut will have won the first match to make it 1-0 to Spain, which heaps the pressure to perform on Djokovic. He thrives in these circumstances, and it has long been posed that he is the world-beating kryptonite to both Nadal and Federer in his best form. Form, it seems, is not on the Spaniard’s side, and Djokovic will have been watching his every move in defeat to David Goffin and his fight-back over De Minaur. This should be a classic match, where the motivation to win seems stronger for Djokovic.

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