Date: 4 November 2020
Tournament: Rolex Paris Masters 2020
Round: Second round (Round of 32)
Venue: Paris, France
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: €3,901,015
Match timing: Not before 6.30 pm local time, 11 pm
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | India - Sony Six / Sony Liv
Rafael Nadal vs Feliciano Lopez preview
Rafael Nadal will be looking to register his 1000th win on the ATP Tour when he takes on compatriot Feliciano Lopez in the second round of the 2020 Rolex Paris Masters. If Nadal does manage to get past Lopez, he will join the likes of Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer and Ivan Lendl in the 1000-win club.
The World No. 2 has won nine of his 10 matches since the resumption of the tour, even bagging the French Open for the 13th time in the process. However, all of those matches were on clay.
Nadal will be a bit cautious coming into the match against Lopez, as it would be his first of the 2020 indoor hardcourt swing. It remains to be seen how well the 34-year-old adapts to the conditions.
The Paris Masters has been one of the least successful tournaments for Nadal throughout his career. In fact, it happens to be one of just three ATP Masters 1000 tournaments where the Mallorcan is yet to taste glory (Miami and Shanghai being the others).
The only time Nadal made the final in Paris-Bercy was way back in 2007. Injuries and exhaustion have prevented the Spaniard from participating in six editions of the tournament over the years. Nadal has also been forced to concede three of his matches by either retiring or giving a walkover - including last year.
Up against the 20-time Grand Slam champion will be another veteran of the tour in Feliciano Lopez. Even at the age of 39, Lopez is still putting in a few good performances here and there - amongst which was his first-round win over the dangerous Filip Krajinovic.
The Serb is a very solid player in indoor conditions but he had no answer to Lopez’s monstrous serve. The World No. 64 sent down a mammoth 21 aces during his 7-6(11), 6-1 win, but the more remarkable feat was that he won 100% (34/34) of his first serve points.
Rafael Nadal vs Feliciano Lopez head-to-head
Rafael Nadal leads Feliciano Lopez 9-4 in their head-to-head record. Lopez is currently on a two-match winning streak against Nadal, but the two haven't faced each other since 2015.
Rafael Nadal vs Feliciano Lopez prediction
Given the devastating form that Rafael Nadal displayed in the French Open final, it is difficult to predict anything but a win for him against Feliciano Lopez. That said, Nadal will no longer be aided by the brick dust of Paris, and he will have to find an answer to the heavy groundstrokes and big serves that he comes across in Paris-Bercy.
The difference this time around is that Nadal’s refurbished serve has become a potent weapon in itself. The Spaniard has been getting a lot of free points with his first serve coupled with his newfound aggression from the baseline.
Being an experienced campaigner, Lopez could definitely pose a challenge for Nadal. However, things are likely to get very difficult for him once the younger Spaniard finds his rhythm.
Prediction: Rafael Nadal to win in straight sets.