Sun, Apr 30, 12:08pm by Head Editor
Date and Time: Monday May 1, 12:05am AEST
Venue: Real Club de Tenis Barcelona
We are just three weeks away from the French Open and Rafael Nadal is tuning up nicely in a bid to win the tournament for the tenth time.
It could be an omen for the “King of Clay”, as he’s also a $1.29 favourite to win the Barcelona Open final for the tenth time on Monday (AEST), a tournament that is held just 250 kilometres from where he was born.
Nadal beat Horacio Zeballos of Argentina 6-3 6-4, in the semi-final in windy conditions – on a centre court that’s named after him – at Barcelona’s Real Club de Tenis.
He won’t have it all his own way though, his opponent in Monday’s (AEST) final will be Dominic Thiem, who upset top-ranked Andy Murray 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, to advance to the final. The Austrian is a $3.62 underdog to win this tournament for the first time.
The win was the Austrian’s first against a world number one, and his first against Murray, who only entered this event to get some more practice in on clay after he was bundled out in the third round in Monte Carlo.
This will be Nadal’s 106th career final, having won 70 and lost 35. The Spaniard will need to serve well in this final and avoid playing to Thiem’s backhand as it the Austrian’s stronger weapon, as he demonstrated against Murray.
Just like Nadal, Thiem is a good defender, and the 23-year-old can also be aggressive from the baseline, his groundstrokes are solid and his one-handed backhand is a strong weapon.
Both players enjoy playing on this surface, I like the $4 about Nadal to win in three sets.
D Thiem $3.62
R Nadal $1.29
D Thiem 2-0 $5.50
R Nadal 2-0 $1.72
D Thiem 2-1 $7
R Nadal 2-1 $4
To Win 1st Set
D Thiem $2.88
R Nadal $1.38
Total Match Games
Under (21.5) $1.80
Over (21.5) $1.90
D Thiem (+4.5) $1.66
R Nadal (-4.5) $2.10
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