When the dust settles in tennis betting action on Sunday, Novak Djokovic will be the world’s new No. 1 player. However, he’s going to be up against it when he takes on the man that will be dropping to No. 2, the defending champion of Wimbledon, Rafael Nadal in Sunday’s finale at the All England Club.
Rafa is definitely no stranger to Centre Court here in London. He has already won this tournament twice (2008 and 2010), and he has been a finalist and lost to Roger Federer twice before. Nadal has already won four of the last five Grand Slam events, with his lone exit coming this year in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. The Spaniard would love nothing more than to be able to claim yet another crown, which would be his 11th major title in his career. This has definitely been a man that has looked relatively mortal along the way to the Wimbledon finale, as Nadal had to play four sets against Juan Martin Del Potro, Mardy Fish, and Andy Murray to reach this point, but there hasn’t been a player push Rafa to the brink with that fifth set since a first round match against John Isner at the French Open a few weeks ago. About the only thing that can keep Nadal down is his serve, which at times is certainly not as dominating as that of some of his peers, including that of Djokovic. However, with 27 service breaks already under his belt, there is no doubt that Nadal can return like none other in the world.
Performing in Grand Slam events has always been a bugaboo for Djokovic, especially against the likes of Federer and Nadal. It seems like he is always a semifinalist, but rarely a finalist in events like this one, and claiming glory is even more elusive. The Serb has reached the semifinals of three Wimbledon championships, but this is his first finale. He has only won the Australian Open twice in his career, and Djokovic would love to add his second Grand Slam win of the year and his third in his career on Sunday. However, the Serb has another big time hurdle to overcome. He is just 11-16 in his career against Nadal, and he is only 0-5 all-time against him in major events, including last year at the US Open when he lost in four sets in the finale. The good news though, is that Djokovic has already beaten Nadal four times this year, including twice on clay courts, where the Spaniard is the king. The only question is whether Djokovic is ready to step up and perform admirably in the big time, and whether that will be enough.
We just don’t see it happening when push comes to shove. There are still better days ahead for Djokovic, but all too often when we see a change in the world’s No. 1 rankings, we see the man that is abdicating that top spot come forth with a dominating effort against the man that is going to be taking his throne. Djokovic will be the top ranked man in the world when this is said and done, but Nadal -155 is clearly the right play to make on the Wimbledon odds in the men’s final.
Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.
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