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Rafael Nadal, of Spain, serves to Guido Pella, of Argentina, during the Rogers Cup men’s tennis tournament Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
Rafael Nadal, of Spain, serves to Guido Pella, of Argentina, during the Rogers Cup men’s tennis tournament Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)|Associated Press
Tennis

Rogers Cup Men's Final: Abrams picks Rafael Nadal vs Daniil Medvedev in a contrast of styles

The match is Sunday at 4 pm EDT.

Neal Abrams

Neal Abrams

The Rogers Cup

Montreal, Canada

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Men’s Finals

Rafa Nadal over Daniil Medvedev

Rafa had an easy Saturday, as he got a walkover from the exciting Gael Monfils in the semis. Because Monfils’ quarterfinal match with RBA was rained out Friday night, they played a terrific match Saturday morning in which the Frenchman won 7-6 in the third. Asked to play his semifinal matchup against Nadal in the afternoon, Monfils was unable to go, with an ankle injury, so Nadal took his default and moved into Sunday’s finals. He’ll go against the very tough and improving 6’6” Russian, Daniil Medvedev. Interestingly, even though they’re both ranked in the Top Ten, Nadal and Medvedev have never played, so this match should be an interesting initial contrast in styles, with Nadal, the consummate defender, against Medvedev, a power baseliner if there ever was one. Medvedev advanced to the finals with an impressive straight-set victory over countryman Karen Khachanov in a matchup of two guys both big enough to be able to play in the NBA, had they chosen basketball instead of tennis. In the finals, Medvedev will spot his superior serve, and hope that it puts him in position to finish off points relatively quickly, and Nadal will retrieve and fight, as he always does. Because tennis is more often lost than won—even at this level, I like Nadal over Medvedev in a close, tight three setter. But as anyone knows, anything is possible. That’s why they play the game.

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