Just because the Grand Slam season is over doesn’t mean the end of compelling tennis. The 2017 China Open men’s final on Sunday will pit the world’s top player in Rafael Nadal against the world’s most polarizing player in Nick Kyrgios.
With Nadal’s unbelievable 2017 resurgence, and with Kyrgios dropping just one set thus far in Beijing and coming off an impressive defeat of Alexander Zverev, this looks like a must-watch battle.
In the United States, the match is scheduled to start at Noon ET and be broadcast on the Tennis Channel. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, DirecTV Now is the only streaming service that will give you access to this this channel. The Tennis Channel is included in the “Just Right” package, and you can click here to sign up and start your free trial.
Once signed up, you can watch on your computer via your browser, or you can watch on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app.
Head-to-Head History & Preview
Nadal and Kyrgios have split four career head-to-head matches:
2014 Wimbledon Round of 16: Kyrgios def. Nadal, 7-6(5), 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-3
2016 Rome Masters Round of 16: Nadal def. Kyrgios, 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-4
2017 Madrid Masters Round of 16: Nadal def. Kyrgios, 6-3, 6-1
2017 Cincinnati Masters Quarterfinals: Kyrgios def. Nadal, 6-2, 7-5
While the head-to-head count is 2-2, Nadal has yet to defeat Kyrgios on any surface other than clay. In their most recent meeting, the only other time they’ve played on hardcourt, Kyrgios was dominant with his serve. He hit 10 aces, won 86 percent of his first serve points, 69 percent of his second serve points and was broken just once en route to the straight-set victory.
Nonetheless, oddsmakers are still pegging Nadal as the slight favorite–and it’s tough not to with the way he has played in 2017–but Kyrgios is locked in, and when that happens, he clearly has the talent to beat anyone in the world.
As such, this has the makings to be a potential thriller in Beijing.