Federer vs. Nadal
|Date & Time||Sunday October 15, 2017, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer meet in the final of the 2017 Shanghai Masters.
Rafael Nadal is coming off a straight sets win over Marin Cilic that took 25 games to decide. In the victory, Nadal won 79 percent of his first serve points and 65 percent of his second serve points. Nadal continues to be lights out on hard court this season and is coming off a match in which he won 75 percent of his total service points. Nadal has now won 18 of his last 20 sets played and still hasn’t lost a match since Cincinnati. As long as Nadal continues to serve as effective as he has the last several months, it’s going to take a special performance to knock him off this incredible run. Of course, the defense and return ability is always there for Nadal. Nadal looks to win his seventh title this season and is 18-24 in his career in final appearances on hard court. Nadal has won 16 straight matches on hard court.
Roger Federer is coming off a three sets win over Juan Martin Del Potro that took 27 games to decide. In the victory, Federer won 94 percent of his first serve points and 29 percent of his second serve points. Federer got his revenge for the quarterfinal loss in the US Open, and he won 74 percent of his total service points. Federer is now 31-3 this season on hard court and is participating in his seventh final appearance of the season. Like Nadal, Federer continues to play extremely clean tennis and pounces the second his opponent makes a mistake, which is usually the deciding factor in his victories. It takes one slip in his opponents game for a match to turn around and for him to be declared the winner. Federer hopes to win his sixth title of the season and is 63-24 in his career in final appearances on hard court. Federer has won 10 of his last 12 matches on hard court.
These two have played 37 times and Nadal has won 23 of those meetings. The most recent match was in this years Miami Masters, a match Federer won in straight sets. Federer has won the last four matches against Nadal with his last loss coming in the 2014 Australian Open.
With the way these guys are playing, you could make a strong argument for either side. Nadal had a much easier semifinal match and has won 16 straight on hard court, while Federer has the mental advantage in this head to head with four straight victories. I was originally leaning towards Nadal in this match due to less wear and tear, but Federer sees Nadal’s serve very well and hasn’t been broken once in their last two meetings. Federer has been Nadal’s kryptonite as of late.
Head to head numbers matter in a match like this, which is why I’m giving Federer the edge here.