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Rafael Nadal vs Alexei Popyrin Predictions, Tips & Live Stream – Nadal begins quest for 14th French Open

  • Rafael Nadal vs Alexei Popyrin predictions & tips
  • The French Open first round match is being played at Roland Garros on Tuesday 1 June
  • Rafael Nadal is on a 38-match winning streak vs players ranked 51+
  • I am backing Nadal to beat Popyrin by a margin of more than 10.5 games
  • Preview, predictions, stats and live stream information
Nadal Popyrin Madrid
Rafael Nadal beat Alexei Popyrin in straight sets in Madrid (Getty Images)
Hannah Wilks 31 May 2021
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Rafael Nadal vs Alexei Popyrin Predictions

Thirteen-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal has never lost in the first round at Roland Garros. He’s not about to start now vs Alexei Popyrin, despite the Australian’s powerful serve and groundstrokes.

  • Rafael Nadal has won his last 38 matches vs players ranked outside the top 50
  • Rafael Nadal has won five of his last eight French Open matches vs unseeded players by 13 or more games
  • Seven of Rafael Nadal’s last eight French Open matches vs unseeded players lasted 28 games or less
  • Rafael Nadal has won his last 49 sets vs unseeded players at the French Open
  • Alexei Popyrin has a 9-8 record in best-of-five set matches
  • Alexei Popyrin is 1-7 vs top-10 players
  • Alexei Popyrin’s sole win vs a top-10 player came via retirement
  • Alexei Popyrin is 8-5 on clay in 2021


Rafael Nadal leads the head-to-head with Alexei Popyrin 1-0.

Nadal beat Popyrin 6-3, 6-3 at the Madrid Masters a few weeks ago.

Rafael Nadal Stats

Nationality: Spain
Age: 34 (3 June 1986)
Height: 6’1” (185 cm)
Plays: Left-Handed
World Ranking: 3
Career High: 1 (August 2008)
Career Singles Titles: 88
2021 Singles Titles: 2
Career Grand Slam Singles Titles: 20
French Open Best Result: Champion (2005-8, 2010-14, 2017-20)

Rafael Nadal Form

The King of Clay, the greatest player the French Open has ever known, on track to become the all-time Grand Slam title leader if he wins a fourteenth Roland Garros this fortnight: That’s Rafael Nadal in Paris.

Nadal suffered a rare loss from two sets up when he faced Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Australian Open quarterfinals, and was defeated twice on clay in the run-up to the French Open, losing to Andrey Rublev in Monte Carlo and Alexander Zverev in Madrid.

However, Nadal won the Barcelona and Rome titles, and losses to good players in best-of-three set matches do not mean very much when it comes to Roland Garros. 

Last year he came into the French Open without having won a single lead-up title and still crunched all opposition without losing a set. 

Alexei Popyrin Stats

Nationality: Australia
Age: 21 (5 August 1998)
Height: 6’5” (198cm)
Plays: Right-Handed
World Ranking: 63
Career High: 61 (May 2021)
Career Singles Titles: 1
2021 Singles Titles: 1
Career Grand Slam Singles Titles: 0
French Open Best Result: R2 (2019)

Alexei Popyrin Form

Alexei Popyrin has made the third round of a Grand Slam three times, although not yet at the French Open. 

The big-serving, powerful young Australian has had a strong 2021 so far. Although he had broken into the top 100 before this year, it’s in 2021 that he’s succeeded in taking root, winning his first ATP Tour title in Singapore in February.

Although his power game is more obviously suited for faster hard courts, Popyrin is still good on clay, going 8-5 in 2021 so far with his most impressive win coming against Jannik Sinner in Madrid. He lost in straight sets to Nadal in the next round.

Live Stream

Rafael Nadal and Alexei Popyrin meet in the French Open first round on Tuesday 1 June.

Watch tennis live at bet365 > tennis > French Open, with live streaming available to members online and on mobile.

To use the Live Streaming service you will need to be logged in and have a funded account or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours. Any fixture/event on the website which has the Play or Video icon next to it is scheduled to be shown via Live Streaming. 18+ terms and conditions apply.


Popyrin has some decent weapons, but they are unlikely to impact Nadal, who has never lost in the first round of Roland Garros. 

Nadal is very rarely pushed past 28 games by unseeded players at the French Open, and might well record a particularly devastating victory.

Best Bet: Under 28.5 Games Total Games @-232.56 at Unibet - 4 Units
Value Bet: Nadal -10.5 Games Handicap @-105.26 at Unibet - 1 Unit

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