Rafael Nadal vs. Damir Dzumhur 2018 Rome Masters Tennis Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction
Dzumhur vs. Nadal
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Rafael Nadal and Damir Dzumhur meet in the second round of the 2018 tennis Rome Masters.
Rafael Nadal had his ridiculous clay winning streak ended in the Madrid Masters against Dominic Thiem. Before that match, Nadal won 42 straight sets on clay and didn’t lose a match on this surface since this tournament last year. Nadal won just 37 percent of his second serve points and gave away 11 break chances, just things we haven’t seen from him as of late. But don’t let the hiccup fool you, as Nadal is still the clear favorite to win this tournament and is 16-2 on the season overall. Nadal also hasn’t lost back-to-back played matches since 2016. Nadal has won 10 of his last 11 matches on clay court.
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Damir Dzumhur is coming off a straight sets win over Fernando Verdasco that took 16 games to decide. In the victory, Dzumhur won 67 percent of his first serve points and 53 percent of his second serve points. Dzumhur struggled with his second serve, but he won 63 percent of his return points and converted on all six of his break chances. Dzumhur won’t have the same chances with his return in this match, so he better be much sharper with his serve if he has any chance of pulling off the upset. Dzumhur hasn’t won two matches in a single tournament since Marseille, so he enters this match in brutal form despite the victory. Dzumhur has four career wins over top-10 players, but none of them have taken place this year. Dzumhur has lost five of his last seven matches on clay court.
These two have split the two meetings in the past, as Nadal won the match in this years Australian Open and Dzumhur won the match in the 2016 Miami Masters.
Dzumhur has had zero success on clay before his recent victory and hasn’t won back-to-back matches on this surface since the Santo Domingo Challenger last year. Nadal cruised in the most recent match against him a couple of months ago and has been lights out on this surface despite his recent match.
You can’t bet against Nadal in this spot.