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ATP Cup 2020: Rafael Nadal vs Pablo Cuevas, Match Preview and Prediction

ANALYST
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Published 05 Jan 2020, 18:48 IST
05 Jan 2020, 18:48 IST

Pablo Cuevas won just one game in his opening match against Yoshihito Nishioka
Pablo Cuevas won just one game in his opening match against Yoshihito Nishioka

Following a shock 0-6, 1-6 loss at the hands of Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka in his opening encounter of the ATP Cup 2020, Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas will be looking to regain some lost ground in the next round-robin tie against tournament favourites Spain.

He will have his work cut out though as his next opponent is none other than world no. 1 Rafael Nadal, who enjoyed a solid win over Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili on Day 1 of the tournament.

Cuevas posted dismal numbers in his opening match, winning just 11 points on serve. He fared no better on return, failing to create a single breakpoint opportunity and winning only 24% of the points.

The Spanish team, led by Rafael Nadal, is the favourite to win the tournament.
The Spanish team, led by Rafael Nadal, is the favourite to win the tournament.

Following a humbling loss to Nishioka, the last man Cuevas would want to face is Nadal. However, he will take heart from the fact that he is one of very few players to have beaten Nadal on clay. While that victory came several years ago, it still speaks volumes of Cuevas' capabilities.

His time on the doubles court has improved his game and he has done well against European clay-court specialists in the past, having beaten the likes of Dominic Thiem and Stan Wawrinka.

A surging Nadal will be a hard nut to crack for Cuevas.
A surging Nadal will be a hard nut to crack for Cuevas.

However, to stand any sort of chance against an ever-improving Nadal, Cuevas will have to conjure up something special. Nadal looked solid if not spectacular in his win against Basilashvili but it's a well-known fact that the Spaniard improves with each match he plays.

If Cuevas can attack the net and keep Nadal guessing, he will stand a fighting chance, but it looks a tall order at the moment.

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Prediction: Nadal to win in two sets.


Get the full ATP Cup 2020 Schedule and Results

Modified 05 Jan 2020, 23:19 IST
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