Baghdatis vs. Nadal
|Date & Time||Wednesday January 18, 2017, 9:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Rafael Nadal and Marcos Baghdatis meet in the second round of the 2017 Australian Open.
Rafael Nadal is coming off a straight sets win over Florian Mayer that took 29 games to decide. In the victory, Nadal won 77 percent of his first serve points and 83 percent of his second serve points. Nadal came into the tournament saying he was healthy, and he showed signs of being the old Rafa with a dominant serve and giving himself 12 break chances. Nadal is still more than capable of hanging with anybody on the tennis court at 30 years old, it’s just a matter of his nagging injuries finally being a thing of the past. If this is the Nadal we’re going to see the rest of the way, the rest of the field better watch out. Nadal hopes to make the third round of a grand slam for the 10th time in his last 12 appearances. Nadal has split his last six matches on hard court.
Marcos Baghdatis is coming off a win over Mikhail Youzhny in which he retired a little after the first set. In the victory, Baghdatis won 88 percent of his first serve points and 58 percent of his second serve points. Baghdatis does have an advantage heading into this match given that he played just an hour of tennis and won’t have the wear and tear on his body that prevents a lot of players from pulling off an upset. Baghdatis has gotten off to a fast start in 2017, which includes a semifinals appearance in Auckland, so he should have some confidence heading into this match. The Australian Open has also been Baghdatis’ most successful grand slam. Baghdatis hopes for his fourth grand slam third round appearance since 2015. Baghdatis has won five of his last eight matches on hard court
These two have played nine times in the past and Nadal has won eight of those meetings. The most recent match was in the 2015 Stuttgart Open, a match Nadal won in three sets. Baghdatis’ one win over Nadal came in the 2010 Cincinnati Masters.
Baghdatis is no pushover for a second round match, as he is a former top-10 player and doesn't go down easy in this tournament. However, Nadal showed me enough in his opening match that gives me great confidence he shouldn’t have much trouble here. Nadal was moving well and hitting shots with confidence, as it looks like he’s on a mission to get things back on track.
I’ll take Nadal to win this match in straight sets.