World #9 Daniil Medvedev will attempt to lift the first Masters 1000 title of his career when he takes on defending champion Rafael Nadal, seeking his fifth title in Canada and the 35th Masters 1000 of his career, in the Rogers Cup final.
There is both good news and bad news for the young Russian coming into the final. The good news is that Nadal has never successfully defended a hard-court title in his career and has yet to win a title on the hard courts this year. But the bad news is that the last time a Spaniard lost a Masters 1000 final to someone outside the ‘Big Four’ was ten years ago in Shanghai when he was beaten by Medvedev’s countryman Nikolay Davydenko.
Montreal Rogers Cup Final Prediction
Rafael Nadal vs Daniil Medvedev
Head-to-head: first meeting
Both players have been playing well this tournament and thoroughly deserve their spot in the final. The 23-year-old Russian has yet to drop a set and is now in his second consecutive final after also reaching the title match at the Washington Open last week (lost to Nick Kyrgios). Nadal, similarly, has not been hugely tested and has only dropped one set en route to the final. Coming into this match, the world #2 has also played one match less in Montreal after his semifinal opponent Gael Monfils withdrew ahead of their scheduled contest.
The 33-year-old Spaniard could have more energy in the tank because of Monfils’ withdrawal in the semifinal, which may prove to be decisive. Nerves could also play a part in the final. In the last four, Medvedev got tight towards the end of the second set and failed to serve it out at the first time of asking, eventually sealing the win in a tiebreak. If the Russian gets tight again against Nadal, the 18-time Major champion will likely capitalise swiftly.
That said, Medvedev has arguably been playing the more better tennis this week and will surely be full of confidence after what has been a great start to the summer in North America. But the Spaniard is still the slight favourite to come through simply because of his experience in these kinds of matches. If the world #2 can, as he surely will, use this to his advantage, expect him to claim his fifth Rogers Cup title.
Prediction: Nadal in 3
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