We’ve reached the championship match of the 2013 Coupe Rogers in Montreal and the home crowd have a player in their final again at last. Not since Robert Bedard in 1958 has a Canadian won this event and quite frankly it would be a travesty if Milos Raonic won this given all of his antics this week.
Raonic helped me to win one of my best bets yesterday when he and Vasek Pospisil went well past the total games mark, but even the home crowd were upset with him for taking an eight-minute bathroom break after losing the second set 6-1 to his fellow countryman. It’s simply unacceptable that players can change the momentum by taking Medical Time Outs and toilet breaks when they’re struggling. He’s lost a lot of fans with his behaviour and hopefully the bad karma will come back to bite him tonight.
Incredibly, Raonic’s serve has helped him to make the top 10 in the rankings, but tonight should expose the fact that he is nothing more than a great serve and swiping forehand and that surely won’t be enough against an inspired Rafa Nadal.
The Spaniard proved me wrong yesterday in taking down Novak Djokovic in a really high quality encounter that was light years away from anything that Raonic can produce.
Rafa was hugely impressive and really took the match to Nole by serving big and hitting his backhand flatter and harder than normal. It reminded me a lot of his US Open win in 2010 and he’ll win the vast majority of the rallies tonight.
Milos’s only hope here is to serve huge and attack the net. He has no chance from the back of the court, as has been shown in the three matches he’s played against Nadal in the past. But the odds aren’t great on Nadal as you would expect.
Perhaps the best value from a betting perspective here is to side with the Canadian keeping it close early on. The over 9.5 games in set one at 1.60 looks a solid choice. All of their previous meetings have gone beyond 9.5 games in the opening set and it may take Rafa a little while to get a read on that serve.
Best bet: Back over 9.5 games in set one at 1.60