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This stage is officially set for the Australian Open 2022 men’s final. It is going to be a blockbuster event between Medvedev and Nadal. And understandably, many people are wondering which way this one will go. On the one hand, you’ve got Rafael Nadal bidding to win a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam. Then you’ve got the talented Russian, gunning to win the second Grand Slam of his career. Whichever way this one goes, it is going to be a first!
Of course, nobody has won 21 Grand Slam titles in the men’s game. But interestingly, nobody has won their second slam immediately after winning their first either. This means that the game on Sunday will be extremely interesting to watch! So who will win? Let’s find out.
Nadal vs Medvedev – Tale of the Tape
Let’s start with the obvious talking point – the age difference between the two. Nadal is quite literally 10 years older than Daniil Medvedev. At 35 years of age, it is simply amazing that Nadal is competing for yet another Grand Slam. Then we have Medvedev, fresh out of the blocks in tennis terms, at just 25 years old. So in reality, this is a matchup of youth vs experience. And in my opinion, rankings don’t really matter for this match!
We all know Nadal is one of the greatest players ever, even if he is currently ranked at number 5 in the world. Medvedev, of course, is number two in the world, behind the one and only Novak Djokovic. But while Medvedev is ranked higher than Nadal, I think it’s fair to say that the 19 Grand Slam difference cannot be ignored.
Then we’ve got the head to head to consider. Nadal actually leads the head-to-head record by 3 to 1. However, Medvedev won their most recent clash at the 2020 ATP Finals. It’s also the second time that the pair have met in a Grand Slam final. Remember the 2019 US Open? Nadal managed to squeeze through in five sets, with Medvedev coming back from two sets down!
My Predicted Winner – Daniil Medvedev
As much as I would love to see Nadal lift another trophy and break the all-time record, I think that Daniil Medvedev has this one in the bag for the following reasons:
It’s hard to ignore the fact that Nadal missed the vast majority of the 2021 season through injury. Medvedev, on the other hand, was fully fit and managed to win his first Grand Slam at the US Open. And while both guys have endured grueling matches to reach this year’s final, I do believe Medvedev will be the fresher of the two going into the game.
Suitability for Hard Courts
I should probably clarify that I do not believe that Nadal is a bad hard-court player – not by any stretch of the imagination. But I do think that Medvedev has a better hard-court game, hitting a nice flat ball and boasting a powerful serve. These are two key weapons that should give him the edge on Sunday.