Rafael Nadal vs. Gael Monfils 2018 Madrid Masters Tennis Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction
Monfils vs. Nadal
The Line: -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
Rafael Nadal and Gael Monfils meet in the second round of the 2018 tennis Madrid Masters.
Rafael Nadal continues to build momentum heading into the French Open, as he’s racked up titles at the Monte-Carlo Masters and Barcelona Open. Nadal enters this tournament with a 14-1 record on the year and has won each of his last 20 sets played. Nadal has been dominating his return recently and has been getting a great deal of first serves in play, which is key to his success. Nadal has shown these last few weeks that there’s still plenty left in the tank at nearly 32 years old, and he’s still the guy to beat on clay surface. Nadal has lost in the second round of a Masters 1000 twice since 2015. Nadal has won 17 straight matches on clay court.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Gael Monfils is coming off a straight sets win over Nikoloz Basilashvili that took 26 games to decide. In the victory, Monfils won 66 percent of his first serve points and 50 percent of his second serve points. Monfils came away with nine aces and won 62 percent of his service points, two things he’ll have to do here if he has any chance of advancing. Monfils has never played his best tennis on clay and comes into this tournament in shaky form overall, but everyone knows just how dangerous he can be if motivated. Monfils has 31 career wins over top-10 players, but only four of those have come since 2016. Monfils has split his last six matches on clay court.
These two have played 15 times and Nadal has won 13 of those meetings. The most recent match was in the 2017 Australian Open, a match Nadal won in four sets. Monfils’ last win over Nadal came in Doha on 2012. Nadal is 5-0 against Monfils on clay court.
As if the head to head wasn’t enough convincing, all you have to see is the way Nadal has played on clay court this season. I’ve said it all year; do not bet against him on this surface.
Nadal wins yet again.