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Nadal vs Medvedev ATP Montreal Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Nadal and Medvedev meet for the first time with Rogers Cup title on the line

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 11 Aug 2019
  • Rafael Nadal vs Daniil Medvedev is live from Montreal on Sunday, 11 August from 4:00pm local time/ 9:00pm BST
  • First meeting between Nadal and Medvedev
Rafael Nadal (PA Sport)

Defending champion, Rafael Nadal goes after a record-extending 35th Masters 1000 title when he confronts first-time Masters 1000 finalist, Daniil Medvedev in the Rogers Cup title match on Sunday. 

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Nadal advanced to his fifth Rogers Cup final, and 51st Masters 1000 final after Gael Monfils withdrew from Saturday's semi-final meeting because of an ankle injury. The Frenchman had battled past Roberto Bautista-Agut in their rain-affected quarter final earlier in the day, and was due to return to play Nadal a few hours later, but it was clear that he was in no shape to compete against the world No. 2, and unsurprisingly pulled out of the meeting.

By virtue of reaching the Rogers Cup final, Nadal is guaranteed to stay at No. 2 in the world rankings on Monday, holding off Roger Federer, who could have overtaken the Nadal had the Spaniard failed to make the championship match in Montreal.

Nadal is unbeaten in Rogers Cup finals, having claimed the title in 2005, 2008, 2013 and 2018, but the 33-year-old has not won a hard court title since defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas in last year's final in Toronto, with his injury problems greatly restricting his chances on the surface.

This is only the fifth hard-court tournament he has featured in since that 2018 Rogers Cup triumph, and he's had to retire/withdraw from two of the last four. He quit last year's US Open semi-final against Juan Martin del Potro after dropping the first two sets, while he withdrew from a scheduled semi-final against Roger Federer at Indian Wells because of a knee problem. Nadal did make the final of the Australian Open earlier in the year (lost to Novak Djokovic), and was beaten by Nick Kyrgios in the second round in Acapulco.

Clay brought better tidings, of course- he wasn't perfect as he surprisingly lost semi-finals in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid- but he finished strongly, winning the Rome Masters title, and a 12th Roland Garros crown. The Spaniard also reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon (lost to Roger Federer), in his most recent outing before Montreal.

Nadal wasn't at his resplendent best in his Montreal opener against Daniel Evans, battling through 7-6 6-4, but he was a lot better in his 6-3 6-4 second round victory over Guido Pella, while he roared back from a set down in his third match against Fabio Fognini to win 2-6 6-1 6-2 and move into the semi-finals. He then got a helping hand in reaching the final, not that he needed it, as Monfils withdrew to grant the Spaniard a walkover into the title match, where he will play Daniil Medvedev for the first time.

Medvedev has been in tremendous form over the last couple of weeks, backing up a runner-up finish in Washington (lost to Nick Kyrgios), with a strong run to his maiden Masters 1000 final in Montreal.

The Russian has advanced to the final without dropping a set, coming through a quality draw that has included Kyle Edmund, Cristian Garin, and the top-ten duo of Dominic Thiem and Karen Khachanov. Only once has he conceded more than three games in a set, against Khachanov in the semi-finals. In the first Masters 1000 between two Russians, Medvedev sprinted through the opening set 6-1, and looked on course for another quick finish when he broke for 2-1 in the second set, but he lost his serve in the next game as his level dipped for the first time in the match. Medvedev broke again and served for the match at 5-4, but he faltered again, and was eventually dragged into a tie break. He trailed 2-4 in the breaker, but he fought back to close out the match in straight sets, improving to 38-15 for the season.

“It just means that I'm playing better now, that I'm able to beat these top players in two sets. It's a great achievement,” Medvedev said, reflecting on his win over Khachanov.

Carrying over from where he left off last year, when he won titles in Sydney, Winston-Salem and Tokyo, and broke into the top 20, Medvedev made a fine start to the season, winning Sofia, making the final in Brisbane, a semi-final in Rotterdam and the fourth round of the Australian Open. He's had his bad patches through the course of the year, but he reached other finals in Barcelona (lost to Dominic Thiem) and Washington, and semi-finals at Queen's and Monte Carlo, where he beat world No. 1, Novak Djokovic before falling to Dusan Lajovic in the last four.

His efforts have earned him a berth in the top-ten, and he will reach a career-high ranking of No. 8, and become the highest-ranked Russian, next Monday, regardless of what happens in Sunday's final. If he beats Nadal, he will jump above Stefanos Tsitsipas into No. 7.

“I won't be intimidated. I want to win every match I play", Medvedev said ahead of Sunday's final.  
"I'm playing very well right now. I believe if I am able to play like this, it's not going to be easy for Rafa… It's going to be a big battle. I'm hoping that I can pull it out."

He is spot on there. If he brings his best form into Sunday's final, he has got a very good chance of beating Nadal in my opinion. Medvedev serves big, and he's got a backhand that can counter Nadal's favourite cross-court forehand. Like Novak Djokovic, (and that is not saying he is as good as Djokovic), he defends extremely well off that backhand wing (not shabby on the forehand either...), and is also very dangerous in attack, as he can spread that shot cross court, or flatten it down the line. What he mustn't do is get too passive, as he often tends to do, as Nadal, if allowed to get on the front foot and dictate with his forehand, will eventually find a way.

An intriguing contest lies ahead- Nadal, being Nadal, goes in as the favourite, but like Medvedev predicted, this will be a very tough battle should the two combatants bring their A-game to the table.

Rafael Nadal vs Daniil Medvedev is live from Montreal on Sunday, 11 August from 4:00pm local time/ 9:00pm BST

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Nadal vs Medvedev ATP Montreal Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Nadal and Medvedev meet for the first time with Rogers Cup title on the line

Defending champion, Rafael Nadal takes on in-form Russian, Daniil Medvedev in the Rogers Cup final in Montreal on Sunday. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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