Melbourne Open 2022: Rafael Nadal vs. Maxime Cressy Tennis Pick and Prediction

Melbourne Open 2022: Rafael Nadal vs. Maxime Cressy Tennis Pick and Prediction

TennisSection previews the 2022 Melbourne Open as Rafael Nadal takes on Maxime Cressy in the final on Sunday, January 9th, 2022.

Rafael Nadal won back-to-back matches for the first time since last year’s French Open. He will contest to win his 89th tour-level title against the big-serving American Maxime Cressy. Will Nadal walk away with the Melbourne Open title on Sunday?

Rafael Nadal’s preparation for this year’s Australian Open was far from ideal. After missing almost the entire second half of 2021 and being hit by Covid-19 before the new season, everything seemed to have broken into pieces. But Nadal has recovered fully from the ill effects of coronavirus and participated at the Melbourne Open in his bid to fine-tune his game before the big event in a couple of weeks time. The 20-time Grand Slam winner has sneaked into the final unnoticed to many. With the entire sporting world shifting focus to Novak Djokovic’s saga with the Australian federal government, the Spaniard could be the biggest beneficiary Down Under. He will have a massive chance to nudge of his Big 3 rivals in the Grand Slam title count, but before then, there is a title to be won at the Melbourne Open on Sunday.

Maxime Cressy, like Rafael Nadal, arrived at the Melbourne Open with very low expectations. Cressy’s route to the final has taken many by surprise, and the man himself can’t comprehend the magnitude of the achievement. The towering American – synonymous for being a player with two first serves – soared the qualifying rounds and has not looked back. His biggest weapon has shot down the likes of Reilly Opelka, Jaume Munar and most recently Grigor Dimitrov. Cressy has relied on at least one tiebreak in each of those matches to reach an unlikely final. It will be his first at tour level.

Rafael Nadal will meet Maxime Cressy for the first time on ATP Tour. Nadal is gunning for an 89th career title and his first on hard courts since 2020. The Spaniard is still short on match practice as evident with his 21 unforced errors in beating Emil Ruusuvuori. But his 24 winners punctuated another decent win, in which he saved a crucial break point at 5-5 in the second set. Nadal’s return game should give Cressy plenty of thinking to do. The American has a devastating first serve, but he tends to overcook things and that could be his downfall in the championship match.  

Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Rafael Nadal in straight sets.

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