Rafael Nadal v Juan Martin Del Potro
Both men’s Semi Finals at the Olympic Games look like they will be very enjoyable to watch, but I think I might be looking forward to the second one more than the first. The first Semi Final might involve two top ten players, but the recoveries of Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin Del Potro from injuries to reach this Semi Final has to be admired.
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I am not sure what either player expected from the Olympic Games, but Nadal has already won a Gold Medal having done that in the men’s Doubles on Friday.
The key battle in this Semi Final is going to be the Nadal forehand going into the Del Potro backhand and how much the Argentinian can get out of that shot. His forehand has been firing but Del Potro is still not completely happy with his backhand, after wrist issues and that means employing a lot of slices which will give the Spaniard a chance to dictate those rallies where he can attack the backhand as soon as possible.
The edge in serving has to go to Del Potro, but I do think Nadal will make enough balls back in play to force his opponent to dig in to win points. I can’t see this being anything other than a tight match between two players who have played competitive matches through their careers against each other and it was Del Potro who won their last match back in Shanghai in 2013.
That is a long time between matches and I think Nadal might have the slight edge on this court. It will be tight, but I think the Spaniard will have a chance of earning a second Gold Medal at this Olympic Games by winning this one in three competitive sets.
HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Rafael Nadal – 1.5 Games @ 1.88 with 188BET
Prices correct at time of writing.