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Rafael Nadal vs. Novak Djokovic 2018 Rome Masters Tennis Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction

Djokovic vs. Nadal
Date & Time Saturday May 19, 2018, 11:00 PM (EDT)
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Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic meet in the semifinals of the 2018 tennis Rome Masters.

Rafael Nadal is coming off a three sets win over Fabio Fognini that took 25 games to decide. In the victory, Nadal won 76 percent of his first serve points and 57 percent of his second serve points. Nadal had to come back after dropping the first set and wasn’t at his best with his second serve, but he still found a way to win even if it wasn’t pretty. Even with the close call, Nadal has won 30 of his last 33 sets on clay and finds himself in a semifinal for the sixth time in his last 10 tournaments. At this point it’s hoping Nadal gets tired, as few have a chance against him in his current form. Nadal has won 12 straight semifinal appearances, as his last loss came in the 2016 olympics. Nadal hopes to make his third final appearance of the year and his 10th final appearance in the Rome Masters. Nadal has won 10 of his last 11 matches on clay court.

Novak Djokovic is coming off a straight sets win over Kei Nishikori that took 24 games to decide. In the victory, Djokovic won 67 percent of his first serve points and 40 percent of his second serve points. Djokovic managed to win 51 percent of his return points and produce six breaks to win probably his biggest match of the year yet. Djokovic has had a lot of ups and downs and has struggled with consistency, but he continues to show flashes of returning to the Djokovic we’re used to seeing. Djokovic now has a chance to prove to the tennis world he’s truly back. Djokovic has won five of his last six semifinal appearances. Djokovic hopes to make his first final appearance since the 2017 Eastbourne International and his first Masters 1000 final appearance since last years Rome Masters. Djokovic has won six of his last nine matches on clay court.

These two have played 50 times and Djokovic has won 26 of those meetings. The most recent match was in the 2017 Madrid Masters, a match Nadal won in straight sets. Djokovic has beaten Nadal in seven of the last eight meetings. Djokovic has also beaten Nadal in seven of the last eight meetings on clay.

Djokovic has an head to head advantage here and has a ton of success against Nadal on clay. But in their current forms, are you really picking Djokovic to beat Nadal? The answer is no.

Nadal reaches the final.

Rafael Nadal

Randy Chambers has been with Sports Chat Place since 2014 and covers everything from the NFL to WNBA and tennis. Nobody works harder in this business in terms of content produced and amount of sports covered. Formerly a lead college football writer with Bleacher Report and has had his work featured at Fox Sports, CBS Sports and various other outlets.

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