On Tuesday, world No. 6 Felix Auger-Aliassime faces world No. 2 Rafael Nadal at the Nitto ATP Finals. On Sunday, Auger-Aliassime was upset by Casper Ruud in his first round-robin match, while Nadal was unable to earn a victory over Taylor Fritz. Now, these players both enter Tuesday’s meeting in desperate need of a win. It’s going to be very hard to advance to the semifinals of the year-end event after an 0-2 start, so the intensity will be there when these two take the court here.
While Nadal badly wants to win this event—he has never won the ATP Finals before—we noted in our first writeup that he would need to handle his business against Fritz and Ruud in order to make the semifinals. But the 22-time major champion had a lot of trouble dealing with Fritz’s serve and overall power on the fast hard courts in Turin, which isn’t exactly a great sign heading into this match. Auger-Aliassime is a better server than the American, and he also has a lot more weapons from the baseline when he is on his game. And while Auger-Aliassime lost to Ruud in his opener here, we expect him to bounce back.