Bedene vs. Nadal
|Date & Time||Wednesday April 18, 2018, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Rafael Nadal and Aljaz Bedene meet in the second round of the 2018 tennis Monte Carlo Masters.
Rafael Nadal will play his first match since the Australian Open, if you don’t count the Davis Cup action. Nadal has five main tour matches under his belt this season and is currently the top ranked player in the world. While he had his moments in the first major of the year and looks healthy, Nadal is obviously the king of clay and has lost just two matches on this surface since the 2016 French Open. A 10-time winner of this event, Nadal is simply gearing up for another run at his favorite grand slam, a tournament he’ll be defending for the first time since 2014. Nadal has never been bounced in the second round of the Monte-Carlo Masters. Nadal has won 15 of his last 16 matches on clay court.
Aljaz Bedene is coming off a straight sets win over Mirza Basic that took 23 games to decide. In the victory, Bedene won 77 percent of his first serve points and 72 percent of his second serve points. Bedene is coming off a solid showing in which he got 70 percent of his first serves in play and dropped just 15 service points overall. Bedene has been consistent with his first serve pretty much all season long and will need every bit of that in order to have success in this match. The more free points, the better chance Bedene has of pulling off a rather big upset. Bedene hopes to make it to the third round of a ATP World Tour Masters 1000 for just the second time in his career. Bedene has won five of his last six matches on clay court.
These two have played once, which was in the 2016 Monte Carlo Masters, a match Nadal won in straight sets. The match took 18 games to be decided.
Beene can hang around in this match if he can continue to get his first serves in play, but that doesn’t mean I’m predicting an upset. Picking against a healthy Nadal on clay is almost as good as burning money, in this tournament especially. Nadal has played in the Monte Carlo Masters since 2003 and has won 94 percent of his matches. Yeah, don’t pick against him here.
Nadal cruises in straight sets.