2012 Rome Masters: Rafael Nadal vs. David Ferrer Preview
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The 2012 Madrid Masters event is down to the semifinals, and one match features an all-Spanish affair, as world No. 3 Rafael Nadal meets world No. 6 David Ferrer.
Both players are in the semifinal having not dropped a set in the entire tournament, as Ferrer went through Fernando Verdasco, Gilles Simon and Richard Gasquet, while Nadal defeated Florian Mayer, Marcel Granollers and Tomas Berdych.
Ferrer and Nadal are two players who are quite familiar with one another, as they have met 18 times in the past on tour. Ferrer has defeated Nadal before, including in big matches—however, overall, the world No. 6 is just 4-14 against the reigning King of Clay. Additionally, three of Ferrer's four wins came in 2007 or earlier—the only time he beat Nadal on clay was way back in 2004 at Stuttgart.
So far in 2012 Ferrer has played excellent tennis, with titles from Auckland, Buenos Aires and Acapulco. However, so far this season Ferrer has no match wins against players ranked in the Top 10 (at time of match) on the men's tour, and he lost to Nadal as recently as ATP Barcelona in straight sets.
It looks like clay-court tennis is back to normal following the blue-clay fiasco in Madrid, and that means the men's final will feature Rafael Nadal against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.
The sportsbooks appear to be deterring Nadal supporters, as Betfred has Rafa priced no longer than 1/8 (-800). In my opinion, those are not bad odds considering Nadal looked sharp against Tomas Berdych—an in-form player who might be playing a bit better than Ferrer at the moment—in the quarterfinals.
Prediction: Nadal straight up.
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