Nishikori vs. Nadal
|Date & Time||Sunday April 22, 2018, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Rafael Nadal and Kei Nishikori meet in the final of the 2018 tennis Monte Carlo Masters.
Rafael Nadal is coming off a straight sets win over Grigor Dimitrov that took 17 games to decide. In the victory, Nadal won 63 percent of his first serve points and 72 percent of his second serve points. Nadal won 66 percent of his service points and 52 percent of his return points in the victory, and he’s now lost a combined 16 games in his last four matches. It’s just been complete dominance from the king of clay this tournament, and he should be as fresh as he’s ever been for a final given the lack of wear and tear to get here. Nadal has now won 38 of his last 40 sets played on clay, and we’re running out of things to say about how brilliant he is on this surface, honestly. Nadal hopes to win his first title since last years China Open and his 11th career Monte Carlo Masters title. Nadal has won 75 titles in his career, six of his last seven final appearances overall and is 53-8 in final appearances on clay. Nadal has won 11 straight matches on clay court.
Kei Nishikori is coming off a three sets win over Alexander Zverev that took 28 games to decide. In the victory, Nishikori won 58 percent of his first serve points and 71 percent of his second serve points. Nishikori is coming off a match in which he won 63 percent of his service points and 43 percent of his return points, and he managed to come back after losing the first set for the second time this tournament. It’s probably safe to say Nishikori is back in terms of playing high level tennis, and he’s been able to find a second gear to wear down his opponent and advance. However, fatigue may catch up to Nishikori eventually considering he’s played little tennis so far this season and has played 14 sets this tournament to get to this point. Nishikori hopes to win his first title since the 2016 Memphis Open and his first ever title in a ATP World Tour Masters 1000. Nishikori has lost six straight final appearances and is 2-4 in final appearances on clay. Nishikori has won 11 of his last 13 matches on clay court.
These two have played 11 times and Nadal has won nine of those meetings. The most recent match was in the 2016 olympics, a match Nishikori won in three sets. Nishikori has actually won two of the last four matches against Nadal. Three of the last four matches have been decided in straight sets Nadal is 3-0 against Nishikori on clay.
I’ve said it all tournament, do not, do not pick against Nadal. The rule applies here yet again. Nadal is just in a different zone at the moment, and has been on clay for quite some time considering he’s lost just two of his last 40 sets on this surface. Nadal is also 53-8 in final appearances on clay in his career. I think that’s good.
Nadal wins his 76th title of his career.