Rafael Nadal vs Borna Coric
August 17, 2022 7:00 pm EDT
The Line: Rafael Nadal -800 / Borna Coric +500
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Rafael Nadal will meet Borna Coric in the Second Round of the 2022 Western and Southern Open. The match will be played on Wednesday August 17th, 2022.
Rafael Nadal is the second seed here at the Western and Southern Open and is the 3rd ranked player on the ATP Tour. The legendary Spaniard is making his return to the Tour after a break due to an injury break, so it remains to be seen how his body is holding up as he prepares for a run at a 23rd Grand Slam title at the US Open. Borna Coric is a solid opponent but one that has struggled in recent seasons, so this will be a tough but winnable test for Rafa. Given his extensive experience I don’t think that his rustiness will cause him to lose this match, once he is up to full fitness then he should be able to get by on the strength of his serve and groundstrokes alone.
Borna Coric is unseeded here at the Western and Southern Open and is ranked a lowly #152 after some injury issues and poor form. He had an impressive win over the 33rd ranked Lorenzo Musetti in the First Round, winning over 75% of his first serve points and dropping serve only once. This was only his second hard court win for the year, and he is someone who prefers the clay more, but remains a very difficult opponent across all surfaces. He is not expected to pose much of a threat to Rafael Nadal on paper, but the head to head is surprisingly locked at 2-2, and he does have the advantage of more recent tennis under his belt.
This is a difficult match to predict as we don’t know the full status on Rafael Nadal’s injury recovery, however we have to assume that he is fully fit. At this stage in his career and with so much at stake, it is highly unlikely that he would risk playing unless he was at 100%, so I believe that to be the case. Nadal has always had difficulty against Borna Coric throughout his career, so I expect this to be no different given his injury layoff. That being said, Nadal will get through this match, but it won’t be easy. Three sets is a distinct possibility as he finds his groove back and Coric being a tough opponent. Back Rafael Nadal to win here, and taking the overs on games played is also a good shout.