Mahut vs. Nadal
|Date & Time||Tuesday March 28, 2017, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
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Rafael Nadal and Nicolas Mahut meet Tuesday in the round of 16 in the 2017 Miami Open.
Rafael Nadal is coming off a three sets win over Philipp Kohlschreiber that took 23 games to decide. In the victory, Nadal won 77 percent of his first serve points and 58 percent of his second serve points. Nadal managed to bounce back in a big way after starting his match extremely slow which resulted in a 0-6 first set. Nadal went on to lose just five games in the last two sets and win 41 percent of his return points. Nadal still has hiccups every now and then as he’s still trying to work his way back to the top of the sport, but he’s still won 16 of his last 21 sets played and still brings that fiery attitude to the court. A quicker start here however would benefit Nadal the rest of this tournament. Nadal has won 10 of his last 13 matches on hard court.
Nicolas Mahut is coming off a straight sets win over Guido Pella that took 19 games to decide. In the victory, Mahut won 78 percent of his first serve points and 67 percent of his second serve points. Mahut has dropped just one set in three matches this tournament and is enjoying by far his most success probably since last year's Wimbledon. Of course, Mahut is no stranger to big victories given he’s been a top-50 player for a while now, but he’s been very inconsistent and the hit or miss play has increased with his age. Either way, Mahut is winning no less than 77 percent of his first serve points this tournament and gives himself a chance at an upset if he can keep those percentages up this match. Mahut has won four of his last five matches on hard court.
These two have split the previous two meetings with Nadal winning the 2011 US Open and Mahut winning the 2007 Queen's Club Championships. Both matches were decided in straight sets. That’s all you’ve got with history between these two players.
It’s surprising these two have played just twice and neither match was recently at all. Mahut has those matches where he can surprise you and play flawless, but they’re few and far between. Nadal is easily the better player in this matchup and his defense should make the difference in a victory.
I like Nadal in straight sets.