TennisSection previews the 2021 Barcelona Open as Rafael Nadal (1) meets Cameron Norrie in the Quarter-Finals on Friday April 23rd, 2021.
Top seeded Spaniard Rafael Nadal is the huge favorite every time he steps on to a clay court. Even more so when the court is bearing his name, as this match will be played on “Pista Rafa Nadal” in his home country of Spain. The Spaniard has an incredible 11 Barcelona Open titles to his name and is the heavy favorite to claim his 12th. Will he get the win here as expected or can Cameron Norrie cause what would be one of the biggest upsets in tennis history by advancing to the Semi-Finals here at the 2021 Barcelona Open?
Rafael Nadal is currently ranked number three in the ATP world rankings and is seeded number one here at the 2021 Barcelona Open. Nadal is known as the greatest clay court player in tennis history and has been dominant on the surface for over 15 years. His clay court season has not gone to plan so far this year, as the Spaniard stunningly lost to Andrey Rublev last week at the Monte-Carlo Masters, another tournament that he has dominated over the years. He has not looked quite right so far here at the 2021 Barcelona Open, surprisingly being pushed to three sets in the Second Round by Ilya Ivashka before again losing a set to Kei Nishikori in the Round of 16. The Japanese player is certainly no slouch and played very well, but it was concerning that Nadal dropped the second set after winning the first 6-0.
Cameron Norrie is currently ranked #58 in the world and is a solid player in his own right. He is much better known for his hard courts achievements, but has certainly been impressive so far here at the 2021 Barcelona Open, defeating Salvatore Caruso, Karen Khachanov and David Goffin to reach this stage. Norrie is a very consistent player, and moves well on this surface. However he lacks the weapons needed to truly test the world’s top players. He can be very effective as he gives very few free points away, and an opponent needs to hit through him in order to win. The Brit enters this match as the huge underdog against Rafael Nadal and it will take a career-best effort on his part to even make this remotely competitive.
This will be the second time the two men have faced each other on the ATP Tour, with Rafael Nadal leading the head to head 1-0. They faced each other at the Australian Open earlier this year, with Nadal winning in three close sets. While Norrie pushed the Spaniard in their previous match and has been in good form, there will only be one outcome here at the 2021 Barcelona Open. Rafael Nadal is the greatest clay court player that has ever lived, and he will win this match in straight sets. His recent form is a bit worrisome but Cameron Norrie does not have the tools to take advantage of that, and will not be able to keep up with Nadal’s intensity here. Rafael Nadal will dominate this match from start to finish, a much-needed confidence boost before the Semi-Finals.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Rafael Nadal to win in straight sets