Australian Open 2022: Rafael Nadal vs Daniil Medvedev Preview; Head-To-Head and Prediction

Published 01/29/2022, 2:25 PM EST

A mouthwatering final is on the cards on the last day of the inaugural Grand Slam of the season. World No. 5, Rafael Nadal, will take on World No. 2, Daniil Medvedev. Notably, both players are in great touch and have displayed some of the best tennis of their careers at the Australian Open 2022 so far.

35-year-old Nadal obviously has a long and more lustrous career, but he is still playing like he is in his late 20s. Daniil Medvedev, on the other hand, has grown a lot in senior competitive games, having won his 1st major in the 2021 US Open, beating the mighty Novak Djokovic.

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Australian Open 2022: Rafael Nadal vs Daniil Medvedev Preview

Well before the start of the Tournament, Rafael Nadal was in the recovery process for his leg injury. But early recovery allowed him to take part in the 2022 Australian Open and, clearly, he has made the most out of this opportunity.

Rafa made adjustments in his game and played every match with great intellect and energy. He swept aside his 1st two-round opponents in straight sets. Then the intensity and difficulty of the matches got higher as he started playing against Top 30 players.

Denis Shapovalov brought the best out of Rafa, when he battled his way back in the game, winning 3rd and 4th sets of the match. Rafa was even criticized for time-wasting to slow down the young Canadian. But the experienced Spaniard knows every trick in the book and trick in tennis used to overcome adversity. Finally, he won the 4 hour 8-minute marathon match and made it to the semis.

For a chance in the finals, Nadal was well prepared and had answers to most of Matteo Berrettini’s shots. He took a 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 win over World No. 7 and advanced to the finals.

Medvedev was able to keep his cool in the rising temperature of the Australian Open. He had his frustrations in the tournament but kept his focus on the game, reaching farthest in the “Happy Slam” for the 2nd time in his career.

Right from his 2nd round match against Nick Kyrgios, he was heavily booed and even felt “not supported” by the umpires in the tournament. Like his finals’ opponent, he too had a nervy quarter-final match. He overcame a 2 set deficit to win 3 in a row against 9th seed Felix Auger Aliassime.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia – January 28, 2022 Russia’s Daniil Medvedev celebrates winning his semi final match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Loren Elliott

In semis, Tsitsipas put on a fight, expectedly, but Medvedev topped the match in 4 sets. He already has matched Andy Murray‘s record of reaching the finals right after his debut Grand Slam. Now he looks set to face the Spanish competition in the final match of the Grand Slam.

Nadal vs Medvedev: Head-to-Head

Both players have faced each other on the hardcourt and Nadal has a 3-1 advantage over the Russian. Their most prestigious match was in the US Open Finals in 2019, where Nadal won in 5 sets.

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Young Medvedev tried his best to make a comeback from a 2 sets shortfall, but Nadal won the final set 6-4 to close the door on Medvedev’s Grand Slam aspirations.

However, the 25-year-old Russian has tons of Majors experience now to challenge the sport’s veteran and will look to better his record against Nadal.

Fans split over the winner of the final match of the tournament, but whoever wins, a record is certain. Experienced Nadal might win his record 21st slam or in-form Medvedev might win 2nd Slam after debut Major.

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Prediction: Nadal to win in a 4 set entertainer

Crowd support, experience, and better head-to-head give Nadal an advantage in the Match. However, Medvedev has a reputation for doing the impossible and causing an upset on the biggest of all stages.

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Kunal Pradeep Chawda

149 articles

Kunal Chawda is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Holding a bachelors degree in IT engineering and masters in marketing, Kunal is obsessed with tennis, soccer and basketball. He has intensely followed sports since the year 2002 and also competed in his collegiate days.

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