Citi Open 2021: Rafael Nadal vs. Jack Sock Preview, Head-to-Head, & Prediction

Published 08/03/2021, 2:34 AM EDT
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 04: Rafael Nadal of Spain returns a shot during his Men’s Singles quarterfinals match against Diego Schwartzman of Argentina on day ten of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 04, 2019 in Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Chaz Niell/Getty Images)


The U.S. Open Series that started in Atlanta last week has moved on to Washington, D.C now. Moreover, a titillating matchup is already set early in the tournament there for the tennis fans. Notably, for a place in the last 16 at Citi Open 2021, Spaniard Rafael Nadal will take on American tennis star Jack Sock.

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Rafael Nadal vs Jack Sock: Preview

What’s interesting about this contest is that the 20-time Grand Slam champion would be playing for the first time in his professional career in the capital city of America. Nadal is also coming off from a break that began after his French Open 2021 semifinal loss.

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Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 11, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his semi final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

Coming to Sock, he is still finding his 2017 form again on the ATP Tour. Additionally, close to 200th rank, the 28-year-old has played a mere five ATP tour-level matches, accounting for a 3-2 record.

Since the Spaniard is the top seed, he directly got a bye into the second round. As for Sock, he needed to battle past Yoshihito Nishioka, which he did courtesy of a walkover. At the end of that match, the American was one set down but leading in the second at 6-7(3), 4-0.

Nadal vs Sock: Head-to-Head

Unsurprisingly, Nadal has a 5-0 dominant advantage over Sock in ATPHead2Head. Still, it has been almost four years since they played against one another at the Laver Cup 2017.

Even though the stats favor the Spaniard, tennis tends to create surprising results. Thus, if the American sticks to his guns, the outcome might come out different from obvious.

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Nadal vs Sock: Prediction

Days before his first match, Nadal had a breathtaking practice session at the Citi Open. Even crowds got to see the action live, and from the looks of it, it was worth it.

Thus, it is clear that Nadal is enjoying his tennis after a long time. And on top of that, his free-flowing forehands seem mechanical.

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That is one reason why Sock would need to focus on bringing his A-1 service game against the Spaniard. Also, if the American plays close to the net more, he might restrict Nadal from picking his usual spots.

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All in all, the fascinating encounter does favor the World No. 3 more. Let’s see how Sock deals with the pressure this time around. How excited are you to see Nadal back in action at Citi Open?

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Purav Joshi

1147 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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