ATP Cup 2020 Final: Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal, match preview and prediction
What better start to the year could the fans have asked for than to see the top players in the world locked in a battle for the title of the inaugural ATP Cup?
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will lock horns at the concluding day of the extravaganza bidding to get their respective sides over the line after a long week of tennis action that saw many dramatic matches and surprising results.
The two men will step out on the Ken Roswall Arena on Sunday afternoon as two very battle-hardened opponents face off in a decider and the stakes are going to be very high.
Not only will the match be crucial in determining the winner of the ATP Cup, but will also be a precursor to the Australian Open set to begin next week. The result will set the tone for the 2020 season and the year's first Grand Slam.
It is going to be tough on the players, especially on an increasingly vulnerable Nadal, who had been critical of the scheduling of matches on different cities.
Getting used to new conditions, having to play over half a dozen matches in a span of three to four days and the excessive travel has taken a toll on the athletes' bodies and it has begun to show.
While Nadal pushed into overdrive on his win against Australia's Alex de Minaur on Saturday, he was looking wiped out by the end of it. And had he not won that match, Nadal would have had to come out and play next doubles rubber immediately after the singles.
And that begs the question: How far are we willing to push these athletes to provide high-octane entertainment day in and day out?
And while that debate is bound to gather further traction over the coming weeks, all eyes will be on the finals now. And Nadal and Djokovic are looking ready to deliver big
Djokovic is yet to lose a match in 2020 and has looked every bit of a threat during his time on court. His return and groundstrokes, especially that lethal backhand, have been highlights of his matches throughout week and one can expect him to continue firing in those departments.
Nadal will have to muster every bit of grit that he himself has shown all week to keep pace with Djokovic, if he wishes to deliver for his side.
We have seen the Spaniard do it before on countless occasions, but right now he looks to be standing on shaky ground against a very in-form opponent.
Prediction: Djokovic to win in three sets.