Nadal Wins the War of attrition
As the dust settled on Court Philippe Chatrier, Nadal remained standing tall and strong. His Roland Garros Kingdom safe despite a concentrated and determined onslaught by Novak Djokovic , which lasted the better part of four hours as he tried to usurp his reign in vain. Like the prizefighters they are, the two best players in the world fought ferociously for a spot in the final, trading blow after blow through five sets of some of the best clay-court tennis in recent memory. No question was left unanswered. They gave the battle of attrition everything they had and more and although Djokovic came ominously close to accomplishing the feat finally Nadal broke him to claim the epic victory 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7(3), 9-7. Indeed, the billing lived up to the hype and expectation.
For all intents and purposes, the semi-final clash was the main course of the 2013 French Open. Nadal was always going to have to overcome his biggest rival in the game if he was ever going to claim an eighth title. And so he did despite the naysayers, exclamation point.
If there was ever any doubt whose tournament this was to win or lose, there shouldn’t be anymore. In beating Djokovic, Nadal underscored his status as the favourite to win the title and showed why he is, and why he’s long been held, the Kind of Clay.
Nadal enters the final as the hot -900 tennis odds favourite to beat David Ferrer. He’s a -450 favourite to win the first set and a firm favourite at -138 to win in straight sets (3-0). To win in four or five sets (could we be so lucky to have a match that would top the semi-final?) is trading for +250 and +650, respectively at Bet365.
Can Ferrer topple the King of Clay in Paris?
If it came down to paper, the answer would be a resounding no. David Ferrer, the significant underdog listed at +550 at Bet365, trails lifetime against Nadal 4-19, which includes a debilitating (well, it is) 1-17 record on clay highlighted by an eight match losing streak. The only ever win on clay came in their first meeting in 2004 in Stuttgart when Nadal was but a teenager. Even then Ferrer needed to go the distance.
Ferrer has had success against Nadal in the past and that alone gives way to the possibility, ever so slight, that he could mastermind the unthinkable.
Granted, the only surface on which Ferrer has been able to compete with Nadal is hard courts. He has three wins over Nadal and crucially they came at big events – 2007 US Open R16, 2007 Tennis Masters Cup and 2011 Australian Open quarterfinals. But that he has been able to beat Nadal on the big stage is going to serve him well here. At least it will send him into this match with measure optimism.
What’s more, he’s made inroads into the Nadal clay-court game recently, taking a set off Nadal in both their meetings in Madrid and Rome last month. After the thumping he received by Nadal at the Acapulco final earlier this year, 6-0, 6-3, many thought his confidence would be shattered and he wouldn’t be able to account well against Nadal on clay. That’s them told.
Still expecting Ferrer to beat Nadal on clay, on his favourite Court Philippe Chatrier at his beloved Roland Garros is a long shot bet. Some might even say hallucinatory. Put it simply, few would predict that or suggest it with any confidence for their sports betting.
Tennis Betting Verdict
Although Nadal didn’t start the tournament strong he’s made up for it in the second week. He played some of his best tennis and nowhere more so than in the semi-final round when he took down Novak Djokovic by coming from behind in the fifth set to win. Buoyed by that momentous win, it’s hard to see how anybody let alone Ferrer could deny Nadal his eighth French Open title. Certainly, Ferrer will put up a good fight, even take a set off Nadal but, in the end, Nadal should come through victorious.
Free Tennis Picks: Nadal in four sets at Bet 365[gameodds]23/238234/43-349-192/us[/gameodds]