2022 Australian Open Men’s Finals Predictions
The 2022 Australian Open Men’s final has two wonderful narratives at play.
On one side, you have Daniil Medvedev who is looking to establish his dominance over the ATP and will attempt to win his second Grand Slam title in as many attempts. On the other side, you will have Rafa Nadal, who will be looking to break a three-way tie of 20 Grand Slam titles he shares with Federer and Djokovic. Djokovic attempted to win his 21st Grand Slam against Medvedev this past September at the US Open, only to have the door violently shut in his face. Will Nadal get the same treatment in this final?
For once Nadal will go into Grand Slam final as an overwhelming underdog and sentimental favorite. Nobody will expect Nadal to win. Whereas Nadal may still be the King of Clay, Medvedev is the King of the Hard Courts. That being said, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing for Medvedev in this tournament. He barely escaped Auger-Aliassime in the quarters, saving a match point in the process. He’s also played numerous tie-breaks and four-set matches on his way to the final. That’s not a very dominating road to the final by any means.
Nadal on the other hand has played very well throughout his journey to the final with the exception of mental lapses at the tail end of matches. On three occasions he has led two sets to none, only to give away the third set, and in the quarter-finals barely making it past Denis Shapovalov who almost came back from two sets down to take Nadal down.
For whatever reason, Nadal seems to be having trouble closing out matches. That’s not the kind of trend you want to present against the likes of Medvedev. If you don’t close Medvedev, he will close you. It is for this reason that I think Nadal will not win his 21st Grand Slam title. It is very likely that Nadal will come out strong, and take the first set, and maybe the second set. However, Medvedev will find a way to break down the Spaniard’s strokes over five sets. Medvedev wins in five sets.
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