Men's Tennis Betting: Almagro to keep things tight early on against Nadal

Rain was a key factor in Saturday’s play at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, as both matches were severely delayed by the atrocious conditions in Catalonia.

Milos Raonic was clearly affected by all the waiting around as he had a shocker against Rafa Nadal. The big Canadian admitted that he didn’t serve well and failed to take his chances, which would put anyone on the back foot against Rafa.

Today, Nadal faces Nico Almagro, who also had an easy day of things when he destroyed Phillip Kohlschreiber for the loss of only three games. The German looked like he had a plane to catch to get to his next tournament back home in Munich.

It will be the tenth meeting between Nadal and Almagro, with the champion leading 9-0. Seven of their meetings have come on clay, with three being played at Roland Garros, where Almagro has failed to take a set from Nadal.

For me, his best chance has to be early, as he is bound to lose heart if he fails to take the opening set. In their six most recent meetings Almagro has either won the first set or lost it 7-5 or 7-6, which leads me to the +2.5 games in set one as my bet in this. At a price of 1.77 it looks the wisest course of action in what will probably be a 2-0 Nadal win once more.

Over in Bucharest, Lukas Rosol is in his first ever ATP Tour singles final against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. Rosol will be extra determined to do well after the sad death of his father recently, but looks a little short at 1.58 considering how favourites have fared here.

I won’t be betting in this one, but I do favour the Rosol minus 2.5 games on the handicap, given GGL’s tendency for slow starts.

Best bet: Back Almagro +2.5 games in set one vs Nadal at 1.77