Nadal vs. Cilic
|Date & Time||Saturday October 14, 2017, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: --- Over/Under:
Marin Cilic and Rafael Nadal meet in the semifinals of the 2017 Shanghai Masters.
Marin Cilic is coming off a straight sets win over Albert Ramos-Vinolas that took 19 games to decide. In the victory, Cilic won 87 percent of his first serve points and 45 percent of his second serve points. Cilic has won all three matches this tournament in straight sets and is coming off a performance in which he won 72 percent of his total service points. As long as Cilic continues to serve at a high percentage and not get broken, he’s going to be tough to beat, especially on hard court where he can use his power shots to his advantage. Cilic has split his last eight semifinal appearances. Cilic hopes to make his fourth final appearance of the season. Cilic has won eight of his last 10 matches on hard court.
Rafael Nadal is coming off a three sets win over Grigor Dimitrov that took 32 games to decide. In the victory, Nadal won 81 percent of his first serve points and 57 percent of his second serve points. Nadal has now won nine of his last 10 sets played and is coming off a match in which he won 74 percent of his service points. Nadal has lost just two matches since the Wimbledon and is simply playing clean tennis where he doesn’t give his opponent much of a chance to get their foot in the match. Nadal pounces the second his opponent makes a mistake and his shotmaking this tournament has been off the charts. Nadal has won nine straight semifinal appearances. Nadal hopes to make his 10th final appearance of the season. Nadal has won 15 straight matches on hard court.
These two have played five times in the past and Nadal has won four of those meetings. The most recent match was in this years Mexican Open, a match Nadal won in straight sets. Cilic’s only win over Nadal came in the 2009 China Open, their first ever meeting.
While you could make a strong case for Cilic in this spot, there’s no betting against Nadal. Not only has he owned Cilic throughout their history, but he has lost a semifinal appearance since the olympics and hasn’t lost a match on hard court overall since the Cincinnati Masters. He’s playing some of the most consistent tennis we’ve seen from him in a while, and it’s going to take a special performance to snap that streak.
I like Nadal to make another final appearance.