Fortunately, for tennis fans, Nadal is still alive in the tournament, through to the quarterfinals where he’s set to take on David Ferrer. Join us as we breakdown this scintillating matchup as well as the second quarterfinal match in the bottom-half of the draw and deliver our tennis picks for your consideration.
Rafael Nadal vs. David Ferrer
Match Preview: Nadal remains on course for the Madrid title as he moves into the quarterfinals on the back of two convincing wins over Benoit Paire and Mikhail Youzhny. It must be said though, Nadal, the short odds on favourite to win the title in Madrid at 11/10 with Ladbrokes, has yet to be challenged. His first two matches have been purely one-sided, straight set victories.
That should change when he takes on his compatriot and the Spanish No.1 (sounds funny to say that, rght?) David Ferrer on Friday, although tennis bettors wouldn’t know it to look at the match betting odds where Nadal is tipped as the decisive favourite at -1200 over Ferrer at +700. It goes without saying: leaning on Nadal’s odds is the better play even if they aren’t promising much of a payout. (More like peanuts.) Ferrer’s odds, on the other hand, do promise a tidy sum. The catch: he has to come through with the win.
While Ferrer has shown he can beat Nadal on a hard court, but he hasn’t beaten him on clay. At least not since their first-ever meeting in Stuttgart in 2004 when he beat Nadal in three sets. Since that lone victory, he’s lost every clay-court affair (14 combined), including a one-sided affair as recently as the Acapulco final. That said Ferrer is playing solid tennis right now. He recently made the Miami Masters final and with all the confidence and momentum he has now, he could very well pull off the upset. If you are leaning that way, a play on Ferrer would be a value play.
Tennis Pick: Nadal in straight sets
Kei Nishikori vs. Pablo Andujar
Match Preview: Kei Nishikori recorded the biggest win of his career when he took out defending champion, Roger Federer in the R16. The Japanese sensation and up-and-comer on the ATP has long held promise but a spate of injuries over the years held him back. The win over Federer was the culmination and realisation of that long talked about talent. And what a great moment it was for the tennis world, if a bit sad as it came at the expense of a beloved champion and ambassador of the game.
Now Nishikori takes on Pablo Andujar for a spot in the semis, and potentially a clash with Rafael Nadal. How did Nishikori beat Federer? By playing some exceptional clay-court tennis, utilising that inside-out forehand to great effect. What are his chances against Pablo Andujar? Tennis odds makers seem to think they are good. Opening odds on him are listed at a convincing -350 while Pablo Andujar is tipped at +250.
Be that as it may, this match is wide open. Granted, Nishikori beat Federer and, as such, earned the right to be considered the favourite. But he could end up going out just as Dimitrov did to Wawrinka, coming down from the high of a big win like a feather floating to the ground.
Not many are talking about Andujar but, perhaps, they should be. The Spaniard, who ranks outside the top 100, is having an incredible tournament. He began by beating compatriot Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and followed up with a victory over John Isner. He then went on to beat another Spaniard in Daniel Gimeno-Traver to earn a spot in the R16. One important thing to note about Andujar is that he’s not priced out of the market for a win. His odds are long but not so much so to make him a total long shot play. Telling?
Tennis Free Picks: Andujar at +250 the Greek