Everything in this match counts in favor of the Spaniard. Nadal, as a real locomotive, took long to get into stride. But having accelerated he becomes unstoppable. Rafa performed well in Madrid, getting better and better with every match of the clay season. There are a lot of talks about his indistinct play in Rome and 2 sets lost to Simon and Youzhny in the Italian capital. But I think that these matches would only do good to the Spaniard. Youzhny and Simon are good opponents for finding one’s tennis and tuning in. The both are scoring the points on the baseline hitting shots combination. Both with the French and with the Russian opponent, Nadal played in long rallies and got accustomed to the court. Such matches are always beneficial as they increase tennis tone and help players to set to their tune, which is so necessary for Rafa now. But the progress is evident.
In the rivalry against Youzhny the Spaniard not only defended a lot, but also showed powerful attacks that are so habitual for Rafa these days. Physical exhaustion has never prevented the Spaniard, so such rivalries with stubborn opponents increase the tonus and help to gain more confidence. Whereas Murray, despite his two smart victories, still faces big problems with clay. Yes, he easily beat Melzer and Granollers. But they are very comfortable competitors for the British to play against. Melzer is very bad at playing against defending players, especially on clay. And the Spaniard has no knocking shots in his collection to beat the Murray defence. And with Rafa Murray would have even greater troubles. Frankly speaking, I see no prerequisites for Andy to set a tough struggle in this match. With his passive shots exchange he would have no chances against Rafa. The Spaniard is more stable and better at defence. While Murray’s attacks on clay have always been far from perfect. He also makes poor use of his tactical schemes. His only key component is a powerful serve. But it’s not that important on clay. So to cut the long story, I bet on the Spaniard and expect a confident win from him.
Nadal - Murray. Hcap Nadal -4,5. Odds - 2,0
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