Updates: Nadal Levels Up With Tsitsipas In London

  • Posted: Nov 15, 2019

Updates: Nadal Levels Up With Tsitsipas In London

Friday clash heads to a third set

Rafael Nadal has already clinched year-end No. 1 in the ATP Rankings, but he wants more at the Nitto ATP Finals. The Spaniard grabbed the second set on Friday against Stefanos Tsitsipas and levelled the score at 6-7(4), 6-4 in Group Andre Agassi.

Neither player faced a break point in the opening set. Nadal and Tsitsipas remained even until 4/4 in the tie-break, when the Greek secured a mini-break after Nadal hit a backhand into the net. Tsitsipas closed out the set with an ace two points later. He finished the set with 13 winners and 13 unforced errors.

But Nadal wasn’t ready for his time at The O2 to end. He earned the first pair of break points of the match at 2-2 in the second set, but couldn’t convert. A third break point came and went at 3-3 after a strong first serve from Tsitsipas. But Nadal made good at 4-4 and roared in approval after Tsitsipas launched a forehand wide. The Spaniard comfortably held in the next game to even the score. Nadal produced 11 winners to just six unforced errors in the second set and only lost five points on serve (20/25).

Nadal must defeat Tsitsipas to have a chance at advancing out of round-robin action. Daniil Medvedev must then defeat Alexander Zverev in the night session in order for the Spaniard to secure his place in the semi-finals. The World No. 1 is trying to reach the last four at the season-ending championships for the first time since 2015 and sixth time overall. He is 5-2 in final round-robin matches at this event.

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The Spaniard secured year-end No. 1 in the ATP Rankings after Roger Federer defeated Novak Djokovic on Thursday. It’s the fifth time that Nadal has finished a season in the top spot.

Nadal holds a 4-1 lead in his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry with Tsitsipas. All three of their clashes this year took place in the semi-finals. Nadal prevailed at the Australian Open and Internazionali BNL d’Italia, while Tsitsipas scored an upset at the Mutua Madrid Open.

Tsitsipas qualified for the semi-finals on Wednesday by winning his first two matches in Group Andre Agassi. He’ll finish first in the group if he beats Nadal. The Greek is making his debut at The O2.

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