Rafael Nadal vs. Leonardo Mayer
|Date & Time||Wednesday April 24, 2019, 5:00 AM (EDT)|
Real Club de Tenis Barcelona
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Rafael Nadal and Leonardo Mayer meet in the second round of the 2019 tennis Barcelona.
Rafael Nadal is coming off a semifinal loss in Monte Carlo, his first loss on clay since Madrid and just the second time he’s lost on clay in straight sets since the 2017 French Open. Nadal will obviously be eager to redeem himself after struggling so badly with his serve and being broken six times. Serving was an issue for Nadal throughout the tournament, but his last match reached a new low where just nothing was working. If Nadal has ever lost back-to-back matches on clay, it’s been over eight years since it’s happened. Nadal has won 10 of his last 11 matches on clay court.
Leonardo Mayer is coming off a three sets win over Marius Copil that took 34 games to decide. In the victory, Mayer won 76 percent of his first serve points and 52 percent of his second serve points. Mayer won 67 percent of his total service points and converted on two of his six break points. Mayer deserve a hard fought win given the struggles he’s had the last couple of years, which includes 16 losses in his last 24 matches when you include some qualifying. A form top-25 player, Mayer could use all the positives he can find right now, win or lose. Mayer has two career wins over top-10 players. Mayer has split his last four matches on clay court.
These two have played five times and Nadal has won all five matches, including the most recent meeting in last years Australian Open. Four of the five matches were decided in straight sets and only one match was played on clay court.
Mayer isn’t in good enough form to push Nadal, especially when you consider he couldn’t even compete with them in five previous meetings. Nadal doesn’t lose back-to-back matches on clay, and you know he’s going to have an extra boost of motivation based on how his last match went down. Mayer is just the guy in the way this time. This is also a home tournament for Nadal, an event he's champed 11 times in his career.
Nadal cruises in straight sets.