Zverev vs. Nadal
|Date & Time||Sunday April 8, 2018, 11:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev meet in the 2018 tennis Davis Cup.
Rafael Nadal is coming off a straight sets win over Philipp Kohlschreiber that took 25 games to decide. In the victory, Nadal won 77 percent of his first serve points and 51 percent of his second serve points. Nadal was able to win his match rather easily, but he can improve, as he struggled with his second serve and had eight double faults. Of course, classic Nadal gives himself a chance to win even when he’s not at his best, and he managed to win 58 percent of his return points and provide 18 break chances. If Nadal can continue to return with that sort of success, he’s going to be in good hands this tournament and as he gears up for the French Open.
Alexander Zverev is coming off a straight sets win over David Ferrer that took 26 games to decide. In the victory, Zverev won 56 percent of his first serve points and 57 percent of his second serve points. Zverev also had issues with his serve and was actually broken five times, but he won 63 percent of his return points and ended up breaking a respectable player a ridiculous 10 times. Zverev could be gassed at this point, as he’s played a ton of tennis so far this season and is fresh off a final appearance in Miami that went three long sets. We know what the young Zverev is capable of when in good form and fresh, but his recent performance isn’t exactly what we’re used to seeing. It’ll be interesting to see if a day off can help the talented 20-year-old regroup.
These two have played three times and Nadal has won all three matches. The most recent meeting was in the 2017 Monte Carlo Masters, a match Nadal won in straight sets. Two of the three matches have gone the distance.
This is going to be a hell of a Davis Cup match and one that could go either way. Nadal has taken a ton of time off since the Australian Open and looked rusty in his match, while Zverev could be showing signs of fatigue after deep tournament runs, particularly his most recent showing in Miami. The matches between these two guys have been tight and it’s likely going to be no different here. In terms of a winner, I’m siding with Nadal. I trust him more in big matches, he’s the fresher player and his will to prevail is unbreakable. Zverev is still working on how to power through matches when he’s not playing his best.
My money is on Nadal.