TennisSection previews the 2021 Madrid Open as Rafael Nadal (1) meets Alexei Popyrin in the Round of 16 on Thursday, May 6th, 2021.
Will Alexei Popyrin be able to cause yet another upset here at the 2021 Madrid Open, but this time against the best player in the tournament? Will Rafael Nadal continue to cruise through his matches as he did against Carlos Alcaraz? Both players will be willing to give it their all here, but only one will make their way through to the Quarter-finals. Who will it be?
Alexei Popyrin shocked everyone in the Round of 32, beating the very in form and favourite Jannik Sinner in straight sets 7-6/6-2. Alexei started off the year strongly, winning the Singapore Open, but since then we had not heard much from him as he was not in his best form anymore. However, he has shown some great promise here at the 2021 Madrid Open. Alexei is a great talent with amazing shot power, but he will now have to ensure he is able to think his way around very tough rallies against the best clay court player of all time, Rafael Nadal.
Rafael Nadal absolutely destroyed the young Spaniard, Carlos Alcaraz, on his 18th birthday, beating him in straight sets 6-1/6-2. Carlos Alcaraz, you could tell, was overwhelmed by the amazing power and accuracy coming the way of Rafael Nadal, and he was more star struck than thinking his way through the match. Rafael Nadal was ruthless all the way through that match, and he made sure that he did not give anything up easily. After the match, there was a cake presented to Alcaraz for his birthday by Rafael Nadal and the tournament director Feliciano Lopez. Rafael Nadal played great and he will want to definitely keep this momentum up against a player like Alexei Popyrin.
Rafael Nadal meets Alexei Popyrin for the first time here at the 2021 Madrid Open, and this is going to be a very one-sided encounter here. Alexei Popyrin, although he beat one of the best players in the world at the moment in Jannik Sinner, is nowhere near the required level to keep up with someone of the level of Rafael Nadal. Nadal was so solid in his first match here in Madrid, and he will make sure he does not spend any extra time on the court that he does not need to. It won’t be a tight match, with Nadal winning in straight sets to make his way to the Quarter-finals.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Rafael Nadal in 2 Sets.