Rafael Nadal vs. Mischa Zverev
|Date & Time||Tuesday February 26, 2019, 9:30 PM (EST)|
Princess Mundo Imperial
The Line: Nadal -2000 / Zverev +1000 -- Over/Under:
Rafael Nadal and Mischa Zverev meet in the first round of the 2019 tennis Mexican Open.
Rafael Nadal is playing his first match since losing in the final of the Australian Open, a match he won just 55 percent of his total service points and was broken five times. Nadal has still won 16 of his last 20 matches overall and had a very improved serve in the AO until the final. If Nadal can continue to build on the increased velocity and the number of aces he’s racked up, he’s going to make plenty of deep tournament runs this season. The less Nadal has to work, the better he’s going to be and it also allows his health to remain intact. Having a month off since his last match certainly helps, and there’s no reason as to why Nadal shouldn’t be favored to win this event. Nadal has won six of his last 19 matches on outdoor hard court.
Mischa Zverev enters this tournament in just brutal form, as he’s lost each of his last nine matches and hasn’t won since Cincinnati. The last time we saw Zverev was in the Australian Open, and it was a first round exit after a straight sets loss to Alexei Popyrin. Zverev hasn’t exactly played terrible in these matches, he’s just not winning the key points and gives his opponents too many looks at break points. While a huge underdog yet again, anything positive to come from this match has to be considered a success for the struggling German. Zverev has seven career wins over top-10 players, but none of those have come since the 2017 Geneva Open. Zverev hasn’t won an outdoor hard court match since Cincinnati.
These two have played twice and Nadal has won both meetings in straight sets. The two matches took place in 2017 (Acapulco and Brisbane.)
A rested Nadal usually has zero trouble in these type of matches and he cruised in the previous two meetings against Zverev. That’s without mentioning the lengthy long losing streak Zverev is going through, and he certainly can’t be too high on confidence at the moment. It’s tough enough to beat Nadal as it is, it’s damn near impossible when you’re not feeling strong about your game.
Nadal in straight sets is the only outcome.