Rafael Nadal vs. Matthew Ebden
|Date & Time||Tuesday January 15, 2019, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Rafael Nadal and Matthew Ebden meet in the second round of the 2019 tennis Australian Open.
Rafael Nadal is coming off a straight sets win over James Duckworth that took 31 games to decide. In the victory, Nadal won 74 percent of his first serve points and 59 percent of his second serve points. Nadal won 69 percent of his total service points and produced six breaks on 12 break points. Nadal also hit 38 winners to just 11 unforced errors, a very clean match, but he was broken twice, so there is room for improvement for the Spaniard. Regardless, it was just the second match in 2019 for Nadal, and it was a solid two hours of work to advance to the second round. Nadal hasn’t been bounced before the third round of a grand slam since the 2016 Australian Open. Nadal has won 11 of his last 13 matches on hard court.
Matthew Ebden is coming off a four sets win over Jan-Lennard Struff that took 36 games to decide. In the victory, Ebden won 72 percent of his first serve points and 50 percent of his second serve points. Ebden won 63 percent of his total service points and produced six breaks on 11 break points. Ebden pretty much dominated the match after losing the first set 1-6, and he hit 27 winners to go with his 33 unforced errors. Ebden now has a chance to win back-to-back matches in a single tournament for the first time since Shanghai. Ebden hopes to make the third round of a grand slam for just the second time in his career. Ebden has three career wins over top-10 players, two of which came last year. Ebden has won four of his last six matches on hard court.
These two have played twice in the past and Nadal has won both matches in straight sets. The two matches took place in Hurlingham in 2018 and in London in 2011.
Ebden is obviously no cake walk for a second round match, as he’s a top-50 player, but he has zero success in grand slam play and entered this tournament in extremely shaky form. There’s just enough big moments from Ebden, and he certainly hasn’t been consistent these last few months that suggests he can make this a competitive match. Nadal played at a high level in his opening victory and still left areas where he can improve as he makes a deeper run.
Nadal cruises in straight sets.