Estrella vs. Nadal
|Date & Time||Monday January 15, 2018, 10:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Rafael Nadal and Victor Estrella Burgos meet in the first round of the 2018 Australian Open.
Rafael Nadal hasn’t played a match since the ATP World Tour Finals, in which he played one match and withdrew from the tournament. Nadal was battling some health issues late last year, but he’s expected to be ready to go and was good enough to get the No. 1 seed here. Health is the only question with Nadal, as we know the effort and the defense will be there, it’s a matter of will his body allow him to survive the grind of a grand slam, especially with no warm up matches. Nadal has lost in the first round of a grand slam just once since 2014, but that loss was in the 2016 Australian Open. Nadal has won 10 of his last 13 matches on hard court.
Victor Estrella Burgos is coming off a nice run at the Canberra Challenger and was in the semifinals at the time this article posted. Estrella has had very little main draw success the last several years and actually played just 18 main draw matches in 2017. Estrella does have some matches under his belt heading into this tournament, which does give him somewhat of an advantage, but other than that, there’s little to like with the 37-year-old, who hasn’t been on the big stage much. Estrella has made it out of the first round of a grand slam five times in his career and once in the Australian Open. Estrella has won five of his last seven hard court matches.
This will be the first time these two play on the tennis court.
I’m going to watch Nadal’s first few matches before betting him to make a deep run, but this is a match he should have little trouble with. Estrella has just one career win over a top-10 player and has done nothing outside of challenger play. Nadal can cruise to a straight sets win here.