Spain’s Rafael Nadal serves to Italy’s Fabio Fognini during their fourth round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Feb. 15, 2021.(AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
- Stefanos Tsitsipas and Rafael Nadal will go head-to-head in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open on February 16th
- This will be the eighth time these two players have faced each other
- Read below for odds and what we can expect from this match
The second week of the 2021 Australian Open is officially underway, and the men’s singles quarterfinals has been set. It’s not a big surprise that both Tsitsipas and Nadal are here, it was expected of both players to play deep into the tournament Prior to the tournament starting, the two of them were in the top five odds to win the tournament outright.
What should we expect from this matchup?
Tsitsipas vs Nadal 2021 Australian Open Quarterfinal Odds
| Stefanos Tsitsipas||+3.5 (-115)||+165||Ov 40.5 (-108)|
| Rafael Nadal||-3.5 (-110)||-210||Un 40.5 (-117)|
Odds taken Feb 15th from DraftKings
Nadal is on a quest to become the first man in the Open Era to win every Grand Slam twice, as well as beat Roger Federer’s all-time record of 20 Grand Slam titles.
The World No. 2 was expected to be challenged a little bit in his fourth round match against Fabio Fognini, but Nadal breezed by him, winning 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. The Spaindard was very strong overall. There were a few hiccups with her serve, recording three double faults, and only landing 60% of his first serves, but it really was no issue against Fognini.
The second seed has only lost 36 games all tournament while not dropping a set.
Tsitsipas’ Ups and Downs
This is the third Grand Slam quarterfinals appearance for Tsitsipas, and he’ll be up against one of the toughest opponents there could be.
He had a little bit of hiccup when he saw the chance of his tournament being over when his second round match against unseeded Thanasi Kokkinakis go five sets. In that match he record 10 double faults and struggled to maintain the lead. He eventually went on to win 6(5)-7(7), 6-4, 6-1, 6(5)-7(7), 6-4. Aside from that second round match, he hasn’t dropped a set, including only dropping 10 games total as well.
He’s then had an extra days rest with a walkover against Matteo Berrettini in the fourth round, making him the more rested player between him and Nadal. But when going up against an opponent like that, you almost don’t want that extra rest. You want to be match ready. So we’ll have to see how aggressive Tsitsipas actually comes out of the gate during the quarterfinals. If he’s in anyone slow to get going, Nadal will most definitely take advantage.
Nadal obviously has the edge in their head-to-head, with six wins, including defeating Tsitsipas at the 2019 Australian Open. The Greek star has yet to beat Nadal on a hard court surface, making it hard to think he might do it this year.
Tsitsipas vs Nadal Head-to-Head Stats
This will be the toughest match for Nadal since the tournament started. He hasn’t really been tested against any of his opponents. He’ll look to dominant early, but if Tsitsipas is able to build some momentum early on, it could be interesting.
Many have said that of all the young players, Tsitsipas actually has the tools to defeat Nadal. One of his biggest weaknesses when playing top players is keeping the high level throughout. He can be inconsistent, and that’s where he usually gets into trouble.
I don’t believe it’s going to be a walk in the park for Nadal. It’s the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam. But I don’t think Tsitsipas has what it takes right now with how dominant Nadal has been all tournament, to take the match out right.
The Pick: Nadal to win in four sets (+320)
A graduate of Sport Media at Ryerson University, Hayley is the ultimate student of sports. Whether she is playing it, watching it, debating it, or writing it, it’s safe to assume sport consumes the majority of her life. She has worked both internationally and with the NBA.