Medvedev has had one of the most impressive seasons on the ATP this year, winning 50 matches and earning a top 5 ranking. He has had a very solid tournament to date, having not being taken to 5 sets even once. His win in the semis over Dimitrov was outstanding, relatively comfortably winning in straight sets. He has faced Nadal just once previously, a loss on the Canadian hardcourts last month.
Nadal has absolutely been the form player of this tournament, dropping just 1 set the whole way. He was easily too good for Berrettini in the semis, taking the 3rd set 6-1. His return game has been on an elite level all tournament, averaging over 5 breaks a game so far. He showed his matchup advantages in a very comfortable 6-3 6-0 win in their only previous meeting.
Prediction: Nadal -1.5 sets
While most of you won’t be attracted to the relatively small moneyline price, Nadal to win in 4 or less is somewhat better value. Although Medvedev has been strong on hardcourts, his loss to Nadal at the Rogers Cup highlighted some of his matchup weaknesses. The narrative is also firmly in Rafa’s favour here, with a chance to claim his 19th grand slam. Ultimately, I think Nadal’s elite return ability makes life very difficult for Daniil here, winning a relatively straightforward match in 4 or less sets.
Medvedev has been on a brilliant run all season, particularly showing his quality on the hardcourts. While I don’t think he has enough to beat Rafa, I definitely see him being competitive to start. Nadal has had a 6-4 set in 3 of his matches so far and generally has a pattern of breaking once per set. For a bit of extra value, I think he does just enough to edge Daniil here instead of going to a tie-break.