Dudi Sela vs. Rafael Nadal
|Date & Time||Tuesday July 3, 2018, 7:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Rafael Nadal and Dudi Sela meet in the first round of the 2018 tennis Wimbledon.
Rafael Nadal hasn’t played since winning the French Open, which makes him one o the more rested players heading into this tournament. However, taking pretty much a full month off from active competition could create some rust in the early rounds. Nadal has never been great on grass court and the Wimbledon is easily his worst grand slam. In fact, Nadal hasn’t made it out of the fourth round of this tournament since making the final in 2011. Nadal has been highly consistent this season and has just two losses on his record, but there are some concerns given his recent history at the Wimbledon. Nadal has won seven of his last 10 matches on grass court.
Dudi Sela heads into this tournament in very poor form, as he’s struggled in challenger play and is just 3-5 on the main tour this season. Sela hasn’t had a winning record on the main tour since 2007, so there’s even less optimism that he’s going to be a threat in this match. However, if you’re looking for a bright spot, Sela has won six of 15 matches at the Wimbledon, so he does have some sort of success playing on the biggest stage on grass court. Other than that, there’s not much to like with the 33-year-old from Israel. Sela hopes to make it out of the first round of a grand slam for the fifth time since 2016. Sela has won eight of his last 10 matches on grass court.
These two have played twice and Nadal won both meetings in straight sets. The matches took place in the 2017 Miami Masters and 2015 Australian Open.
Sela will have his chances to hang around here, especially with Nadal not loving this surface and being out of the sport for the last month. Maybe Sela can steal a set early. However, I wouldn’t bet it. Sela has done nothing on the big stage in his career and has struggled overall to string together consistent success even against subpar competition.
I’d bet Nadal wins this match in straight sets.