ATP Cup 2020: Rafael Nadal vs Alex de Minaur, match preview and prediction
Two of the most dangerous looking men in the field of the 2020 ATP Cup have finally been conquered. Rafael Nadal and Alex de Minaur have both succumbed to losses against surprise opponents after having had a rocket start to the tournament.
While Nadal gave out to Belgium's David Goffin late last evening, De Minaur tasted defeat at the hands of Englishman Dan Evans on Thursday. And now, the two are set to square off against each other in a high-stakes semifinal clash between Spain and Australia.
Interestingly, while these two men have met more than once before, Saturday's matchup will be the first time that they pIay a three-set match. Both their prior meetings have been at Slams, with Nadal winning comfortably on both occasions.
That streak came to an end against Evans, but he regrouped quickly. The 20-year-old came out and won the semifinal berth for Australia by clinching the doubles rubber alongside Nick Kyrgios.
The magnitude of the impact that the singles loss has had on De Minaur's confidence heading into the business end of the tournament, remains to be seen.
Nadal's side of the story hasn't been much different. The Spaniard got off to a great start in tournament too, winning all his matches during the round robin stage. He hit a hurdle against Goffin, but just like De Minaur, came back to secure a win for his side in the doubles.
The onus will once again be on the two men to deliver for their sides, but this time only one of them can come out victorious. Whether Nadal's experience and grit triumph over De Minaur's zeal and adrenaline, remains to be seen.
Prediction: Nadal to win in two sets.Modified 11 Jan 2020, 02:09 IST