The men’s semi-finals at the 2013 French Open went the way I predicted, which sets up an all-Spanish final between Rafa Nadal and David Ferrer on Sunday.
Two of my three wagers in Friday’s semi-finals were successful, with the over total games easily winning, while Ferrer’s comfortable win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga saw my handicap wager on the Spaniard land too. My other bet was really unlucky, as Nadal and Novak Djokovic played a tie break at the last possible moment in their match.
So, the two Davis Cup team mates will set foot onto Philippe Chatrier Court at around 2pm UK time on Sunday to do battle for the 24th time in their careers and the 18th time on clay, with Rafa leading 19-4 overall and 16-1 on the red dirt.
This season’s clashes between these two have been varied, with Rafa easily winning in the early stages of his comeback in the Acapulco final and then Ferrer having a chance to beat Nadal in the Madrid quarter-final, but choking from a winning position. After that there was a competitive quarter-final in Rome, so Ferrer has had his relative successes against his nemesis this season.
Rafa had by far the tougher semi-final after a marathon 9-7 final set win over Djokovic, but anyone considering the notion that Nadal may be fatigued is likely to be sorely disappointed. We’ve seen the defending champion recover from such battles and be fresh as a daisy for the next match on numerous occasions. He’ll be ready, despite reports of him struggling with his knee.
If that match against Novak was a Nadal suffering from knee problems, imagine what he can do to Ferrer if he’s having a ‘good knee day’ on Sunday. Throw the likely nerves that Ferrer will suffer on his Grand Slam final debut into the equation and I can’t see this being a truly competitive match.
Ferrer could nick a set, but that’s likely to be the extent of his success and I doubt he’ll even do that on Sunday against a fired-up Rafa who will be seriously boosted by that epic win over the world number one. The betting options for me centre around how much Rafa will win by.
The total games is a good option and under 35.5 seems like a decent bet at around 1.82. I also like the Nadal minus 8.5 games at around 2.60.
If Ferrer does nick a set it will be by a couple of games at the most and once Rafa gets on top he does tend to turn the screw on Ferrer and 6-2 or 6-1 sets are likely, so there’s a good chance that the minus 8.5 games on Nadal will be successful.
Best Bet: Back Nadal –8.5 games to beat Ferrer at 2.60
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