World No.1 Rafael Nadal admits that he is not sure how to go about defeating his arch-rival Novak Djokovic in the finals of the ATP Cup 2020 on Sunday. While Nadal lost the last eight matches against Djokovic on a hard court, the Spaniard still seems to be out of plans to defeat the Serb.
The 19-time Grand Slam champion along with Roberto Bautista Agut led Spain past the hosts Australia to set up a blockbuster final against Djokovic’s Serbia. Nadal fought hard to come back from a set down and defeat Alex de Minaur in the semifinals of the 24-team competition.
“It’s going to be a tough match for me”: Rafael Nadal
Ahead of their finals, the 33-year-old revealed that he is still finding a solution to his inferior hard court record against the 16-time Grand Slam champion.
“I don’t know,” Nadal said. “I have no idea yet. I’m just happy tonight to be where we are.”
“We are a team in the final. This is not a singles competition, it is a team competition. For me, we play like a team over any individual. So tomorrow is a three-match tie. First will probably be Roberto against Dusan, both are playing well I think,” Nadal noted.
“And then probably Novak against me. It’s going to be a tough match for me of course. He has been playing some great matches this week. But here I am,” Rafa added.
The Spaniard suggested that he finished with positive energy tonight and knows he has to be ready to play at his highest level to have his chances tomorrow. Nadal also explained that he needs something else (to defeat Djokovic) and he is looking for it.
Nadal vs Djokovic Head-to-Head
Djokovic and Nadal will face each other for the 55th time in their career with the Serbian leading their head-to-head 28-26 so far.
While Nadal defeated Djokovic in their last matchup at the Italian Open 2019, he has not beaten Novak on a hard court since the 2013 US Open final. In their most recent hard court meeting, Djokovic thrashed Nadal in the Australian Open final.
Though Djokovic struggled in his last two matches, he is enjoying 5-0 singles run at the ATP Cup 2020. On the other hand, Nadal also does not seem to be in good touch in the quarter and semi-finals. He lost to David Goffin in the last eight and was on the cusp of getting defeated by Alex de Minaur in the semis.
It is unsurprising that the two best players in the world have led their countries to the final in Sydney. However, it will be interesting to see which player steps up on Sunday to help their team lift the first ATP Cup title.
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