- The first of two semifinals of the Nitto ATP Finals will take place Saturday, November 21st at 9:00 am EST
- Rafael Nadal looks to make his third career finals appearance
- Read below for current odds and our preview and best bet for the match
Daniil Medvedev looks to be the one to beat after defeating Novak Djokovic on Wednesday. Djokovic was the favorite coming into the ATP Finals tournament, with Medvedev not far behind. Rafael Nadal and Medvedev will now go head-to-head in the semifinals of the tournament, in what will be a rematch of a thrilling 2019 US Open final.
Medvedev, who has been incredible in this ATP Finals tournament is the favorite heading into the match, making it very interesting. There aren’t many matches where Nadal comes in as the underdog.
Medvedev vs Nadal Nito ATP Finals Odds
|Daniil Medvedev||-1.5 (-113)||-148||O 23.5 (-104)|
|Rafael Nadal||+1.5 (-107)||+125||U 23.5 (-117)|
Odds taken Nov. 20th from DraftKings
A year ago, Medvedev lost all three matches that he played in his ATP Finals tournament debut, and this year, he has yet to lose one after two matches. After defeating Djokovic last round, he was crowned the winner of Group Tokyo 1970. If he finds himself winning this tournament, he will be the fourth player to win the trophy after a winless debut, joining Djokovic out of all players.
In a match that some may say gave Djokovic “a taste of his own medicine,” Medvedev absolutely dominated. The 24-year-old went unbroken in his win and recorded nine aces while only facing one break point, in a 6-3, 6-3 win.
Nadal the Underdog
This is going to be a close match, but Nadal is coming in as the underdog. This tournament has faired more favorable to Medvedev, and Nadal will have to be quick to respond during this entire match. His match yesterday against Stefanos Tsitsipas was a do or die situation, that he knew he had to win to keep his season alive.
Pure artistry 😍@RafaelNadal #NittoATPFinals pic.twitter.com/E2sNGlq3lR
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 20, 2020
He defeated defending champ Tsitsipas 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, in a match that lasted almost three hours. And Nadal has now won an impressive 71 consecutive matches after winning the first set. He had a solid backcourt game where he won 40-percent of his return points while recording only 13 unforced errors.
This will be the fourth time these two players have met each other in their careers. Nadal holds the head-to-head edge, as he has taken all three meetings. Their most recent match came at this tournament last year, where Nadal won in a hard-fought three-set battle in the round-robin stage.
Despite having won all three meetings to date, they weren’t easy matches for Nadal. The only straight-set sweep came at their first meeting at the 2019 Rogers Cup. Their US Open finals match last year was a five-set battle.
Medvedev vs Nadal Stats
ATP Finals Semifinals Best Bet
Nadal has been really good at adapting to the type of play this week and has caught his opponents off guard at times. He’s been using the entire court, and playing up to the net, instead of just relying on his strong backcourt. Both players have had success with this serve this tournament, probably having something to do with the indoor hard court surface.
Medvedev has always had a strong defense, and now he has had tremendous improvements on his forehand. Nadal will have to be strong and try to set the tone for the match early because if he lets Medvedev do so, he might find himself in a hole that he might not be able to get himself out of.
But Medvedev has a match that still needs to be played this afternoon against Diego Schwartzman. And even though he has his spot in the semifinals, there is less than a 12-hour turnover before he plays his match against Nadal. Whereas Nadal is having a full day’s rest.
Either way, this match is going to go the distance. It would be nice to see Nadal take it and have a chance to win for the first time after earning a spot at this tournament every year since 2005. The match Medvedev still has to play this afternoon will give a better indication of how the semis may go tomorrow. Even though Medvedev has been playing better than Nadal here, rest can be a huge factor. Either way this will go three sets.
Best Bet: Nadal in three sets (+310)