Nadal vs. Dimitrov
|Date & Time||Friday January 27, 2017, 9:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Dimitrov +185 / Nadal -220 -- Over/Under:
Grigor Dimitrov and Rafael Nadal meet in the semifinals of the 2017 Australian Open.
Grigor Dimitrov is coming off a straight sets win over David Goffin that took 27 games to decide. In the victory, Dimitrov won 75 percent of his first serve points and 43 percent of his second serve points. Dimitrov is finally starting to show some consistency, as he has yet to lose a match this year and is now in his second career grand slam semifinal. Talent was never the issue with Dimitrov, it was always about getting over those hiccups and his nerves when times got shaky. Dimitrov has won his last six sets and has won no less than 75 percent of his first set points in his last three matches. Dimitrov has 16 career wins over top-10 players, three of which have come already this season. Dimitrov hopes to make his first career grand slam final. Dimitrov has won 10 straight matches on hard court.
Rafael Nadal is coming off a straight sets win over Milos Raonic that took 33 games to decide. In the victory, Nadal won 83 percent of his first serve points and 52 percent of his second serve points. Nadal is starting to look more like Nadal, as he’s sliced and diced back-to-back top-10 players and heads into the semifinals rather fresh. Nadal has racked up 104 winners in his last three matches and is serving at a very high level, as he’s been broken just six times in his last four matches. Believe it or not, but Nadal is in his first grand slam semifinal since the 2014 French Open. Nadal hopes to make his fourth career Australian Open final. Nadal has won seven of his last eight matches on hard court.
These two have played eight times in the past and Nadal has won seven of those meetings. The last match was in the 2016 Bejining Open, a match Dimitrov won in straight sets. The match took 18 games to decide.
This clearly looks like the breakout season for Dimitrov many have been waiting to see. But is he at the point where he can beat a determined machine in Nadal? I’m not sure. Dimitrov still has brain farts from time to time and leaves openings for his opponent. If that happens here, Nadal will take advantage and run away with this match. It’s the same reason I couldn’t pick Monfils against Nadal. You have to beat Nadal to beat Nadal, and I’m not sure Dimitrov is that consistent yet.
I’ll take Nadal in a close match that goes four sets.