ATP Cup Day 6 Predictions Including Rafael Nadal vs Yoshihito Nishioka

Rafael Nadal ATP Cup day six

On the last day of the round-robin stage at the inaugural ATP Cup there should be no shortage of entertaining action, with every team and player knowing that victory counts more than ever in the battle to secure a spot in the quarterfinals. As ever we here at LWOT are offering our predictions for as many matches as possible, including Novak Djokovic’s meeting with Cristian Garin and the potentially decisive clash between Gael Monfils and Kevin Anderson. But who will survive to reach the knockout stage?

ATP Cup Day Six Predictions

Dominic Thiem vs Hubert Hurkacz

Head-to-head: Hurkacz 1-0 Thiem

Hubert Hurkacz will be a name to watch out for in the 2020 season. The young Pole soared up the rankings last year, reaching a career-high world #33 in October, and won the title at the Winston-Salem Open. He has also impressed so far at the ATP Cup, battling past Diego Schwartzman in three-sets in his opener, before dismantling Croatian #1 Borna Coric, 6-2 6-2. However, he looks set to face a tough test up against world #4 Dominic Thiem.

The Austrian enjoyed the best year of his career on hard courts by a distance in 2019, highlighted by wins at the Indian Wells Masters, the China Open and in front of his home crowd in Vienna. That success was the result of a newfound ability to temper his power with greater accuracy and, crucially, patience, as well as a more reliable serve. That has been in evidence so far at the ATP Cup, despite a three-set loss to Coric in his first match, and should be enough to take him past Hurkacz, although the Pole has the quality to keep this one competitive.

Prediction: Thiem in 2
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Nikoloz Basilashvili vs Pablo Cuevas

Head-to-head: Basilashvili 1-1 Cuevas

Nikoloz Basilashvili and Pablo Cuevas are both looking for their first win at the ATP Cup. But in 2019, it was the Georgian Basilashvili who had the better of things. He was able to defend his title at the Hamburg Open, ending the year inside the world’s top 30 for the second year in a row. Cuevas, in contrast, failed to win a title and lost his last three matches of the year at tour-level, although he did record a top 50 finish for the fifth time in the last six years.

Make no mistake, Basilashvili will need to be wary of the Uruguayan. Cuevas may be at his best on the clay, but he moves well on all surfaces and is accurate off the ground. But if Basilashvili can consistently engage Cuevas in forehand-to-forehand rallies, he should be able to carve out a decisive advantage. Cuevas can struggle to absorb pace into that wing and there are few who hit their forehands more ferociously than Basilashvili.

Prediction: Basilashvili in 2
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Borna Coric vs Diego Schwartzman

Head-to-head: Coric 2-1 Schwartzman

Schwartzman is always a tricky opponent to play. Despite not being amongst the biggest-hitters on tour, the diminutive Argentine is a feisty counter-puncher, who times the ball excellently and covers the court as well as almost anyone on Tour. However, he is looking for his first win at the ATP Cup after defeats to Hurkacz and Thiem so far in Australia. Coric, meanwhile, arrived at the ATP Cup after an injury hit 2019 that saw him fall outside the world’s top 20.

But he made an excellent start to his 2020 campaign by beating world #4 Thiem in a three-set thriller in his ATP Cup opener. But he was not able to back that up against top-ranked Pole Hurkacz, losing 2-6 2-6. He has won two of his three previous meetings with Schwartzman, in what should be a good match up for him. Coric is an excellent returner and so should be able to take advantage of Schwartzman’s serve, the weakest part of his game. Coric will also need to look to finish points at the net. Do that and he should feel confident about his chances of victory.

Prediction: Coric in 2
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Rafael Nadal vs Yoshihito Nishioka

Head-to-head: Nadal 1-0 Nishioka

Both Rafael Nadal and Yoshihito Nishioka have played well so far at the ATP Cup, with neither man having yet dropped a set. Both will surely be desperate to make it a clean sweep in the round robin. But as well as Nishioka has played at the ATP Cup, he comes into this match very much as the underdog. Nadal has been an extremely tough man to beat in recent months and deservedly claimed the year-end #1 ranking in 2019. Expect him to continue his good form with a straight-sets win over the Japanese #1.

Prediction: Nadal in 2

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