Day three at the ATP Finals will see the London 2020 group return to action on what promises to be a crucial day in the battle to secure a spot in the semifinals at the season-ending championships. As ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for both of the singles matches on the schedule, but who will secure a crucial win and who will move a step closer to elimination?
ATP Finals Day Three Predictions
Andrey Rublev vs Stefanos Tsitsipas
Head-to-head: Rublev 2-2 Tsitsipas
Andrey Rublev has enjoyed a stellar 2020 season, capturing five titles and racking up 40 wins. However, as impressive as the Russian has been, it is worth noting that only three of his wins this season have come against players currently ranked inside the top ten and the Russian admitted after his opening-day defeat to Rafael Nadal that he was nervous. He will need to change his mentality when he steps on to court to face Stefanos Tsitsipas.
It would be a surprise if he did not put in an improved performance, with his struggles against Nadal perhaps amplified by the fact that he was making his debut at the ATP Finals. But Tsitsipas, who narrowly lost his opener to Dominic Thiem, is in desperate need of a win to keep his chances of defending his title in London alive and will not want for motivation. He also looked more assured, even in defeat, than Rublev on day one. Expect him to scrape past the Russian in what promises to be a close contest.
Prediction: Tsitsipas in 3
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Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem
Head-to-head: Nadal 9-5 Thiem
Despite Nadal having a significant advantage over Thiem in their overall head-to-head, having won nine of their 14 matches, they are tied at one win apiece on hard courts. Somewhat surprisingly, this will be only their second meeting this season, with Thiem winning the first in four tight-sets in the quarterfinals at the Australian Open way back in January. That match was a high-quality affair and another engaging contest looks to be on the cards in London.
Both players looked sharp in their opening matches, particularly Nadal. The Spaniard has struggled over the last few years at the O2 Arena, with the ATP Finals the biggest title to continue to elude him. But he was comfortable throughout his 6-3 6-4 win over Rublev, despite expectations that the Russian’s power from the baseline might trouble him. Thiem, however, hits an even bigger ball than Rublev and will surely head into this match full of confidence after an excellent opening win over Tsitsipas.
Thiem and Nadal will both surely be desperate to recapture the form they showed in their opening match, with the Spaniard perhaps even needing to improve. Thiem has that much more power than Nadal, particularly off the forehand side, and that ability to step in and dictate may well be rewarded on the quick surface at the O2. His more powerful serve could also give him a valuable advantage. Expect a nail-biting match, but for the Austrian to edge a very close three-setter.
Prediction: Thiem in 3
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