Anybody catch the beat down Rafael Nadal caught at the hands of the real king, Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo on Sunday? Good of Nole to give Rafa a sorry little game in that first set, wethinks, prior to taking the 2nd set breaker with ease, on his way to his first ever Rolex MMC shield, and doling out Rafa’s first loss there since Guillermo Coria got him in 2003. Now we had our concerns about Djokovic. Not about his tennis, and not about dirt, but rather, about the ankle, which he seemed to roll very badly against Sam Q in DC, but of course, not badly enough. For Querrey. Or Nadal.
Such a treat to see a guy mature mentally from quitter to hitter, which is what Djokovic has done. Bravo. And like a smart athlete, this week he rests. Then there’s Nadal. Couldn’t play for so so long, and now, he’s back to playing more meaningless 500’s, and one sandwiched between the MMC and the Italian Championships. Can’t teach a dumb dog…um, old dog, sorry, new tricks. Since Nadal jumped back to the scene, it would seem he has played more matches than anyone else in the game, and almost leads the game in match play, despite missing the Aussie swing. Interesting indeed. But not curious.
Anyways, that he plays this week has given us a matchup to salivate over, which is as much must see TV as you get at the 500 level on red clay. Versus Canadian ball crusher and serve machine Milos Raonic. Odds here:
BARCELONA OPEN BANC SABADELL (Barcelona, Spain) — 2nd Semi-Final
Milos Raonic: + 800
Rafael Nadal: – 1500
Nadal leads the h2h 2 love and Raonic has yet to take a set. But but but. I think a lot of people (or maybe it’s just Patrick Edwards, LOL, can’t say as too many people other than our good friend PE actually care) may confuse our picks for who we think is going to win, when what we are doing is discussing good bets. Like in Miami, we told you that Murray was a bad bet against Ferrer, and if you had plunked down 400 units to win 100 on Murray, you must have been dying at match point Ferrer, no?
Murray is a pick em over Ferrer, even on hards where Murray makes his home base. This isn’t football. Murray is not good enough to give a touchdown, or rather, in football terms, 8.5 points to Ferrer. Nadal is a bad bet today by those terms. And he’ll probably win, but would you like to lay 100 units to win 6.67 units? That is just insane. Then there’s the matter of Raonic being a lot better on clay than people think, the bit about him having Spaniard clay court specialist Galo Blanco as his coach, and that his home base is also the dirt yards of Spain. Raonic is 6’6. He can dunk basketballs like JR Smith at TD Gardens!!! High bounces do not bother him, which are Nadal’s bread and butter.
We’d take a flyer on Raonic here, laying 100 units to recoup 900 should the wunderkind come through. Now if only the rain stops so we can see the show.