Saturday, 27 April 2013

ATP Barcelona Final Prediction: Nicolas Almagro v Rafael Nadal

An all-Spaniard final graces Barcelona tomorrow as Rafael Nadal and Nicolas Almagro will do battle on the clay.  Nadal was terrific today, winning a second set bagel against the serving juggernaut of Milos Raonic in a 6-4 6-0 win.  He was standing so far behind the baseline to receive Raonic's serves, but he had an answer every time to the Canadian.  Almagro was also very comfortable in victory as the rain that had delayed proceedings worked in both the Spaniard's favours by slowing down the conditions.  Almagro thumped Philipp Kohlschreiber, 6-2 6-1 to cement his best tournament performance on the clay so far this year.

Nadal surprisingly leads the head-to-head with 9 straight wins; Almagro has won two sets in those nine matches although when they have met at Roland Garros in the last couple of years, Almagro has actually done a pretty good job at keeping the scoreline respectable compared to the majority of Nadal's opponents.  I don't think anyone is going to go against Rafa tomorrow, especially me after watching some of his match with Raonic today.  On a sidenote, I think this clay court season is going to be really interesting with a potentially interesting French Open on the horizon...

Prediction - Nadal to beat Almagro in 2 sets

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