Sam Querrey vs Rafael Nadal Expert ATP Picks - 7/10/2019
Sam Querrey vs Rafael Nadal
8:30 am EST, 10th July 2019
There were not too many upsets on Manic Monday in Wimbledon, when talking about men side of the tournament. Guido Pella was the only underdog that managed to get into the quarterfinals. The way he did it was even more impressive. Many players would have given up being 2-0 down vs a player like Milos Raonic on the grass court. But that is never an option for the scrappy Argentine. He refused to give up and in the end got that win, after battling it out for almost 4 hours. Goffin vs Verdasco was another interesting match, where the Spaniard played really well but came up short in the end. Kukushkin also had his moments, but Kei Nishikori proved to be simply too strong for him at the moment.
The biggest favorites all came through easily. Djokovic, Federer, and Nadal all won without dropping a single set. Rafael Nadal ended Joao Sousa's big run after he eliminated Marin Cilic and Dan Evans. He was nowhere near in this one with Rafa dominating in all aspects of the game. Spaniard faced 0 break chances in this one but won 47% of all the returning points. Aside from match versus Kyrgios, he was cruising through his other matches. It probably confirms that the surface, in fact, is slower than in previous years, even though Nadal said he doesn't think it is.
Slow or fast, it doesn't really matter to Sam Querrey. He keeps it rolling on his favorite surface. It's incredible that he returned to the tour just a couple of weeks ago, after being injured and started to perform on a very high level immediately. Combining that runner-up result in Eastbourne with this quarterfinal in Wimbledon sums up for an 8-1 record, since the return. He was expected to beat Tennys Sandgren easier, but his countryman proved out to be a much tougher opponent than expected. Sandgren hung on with a solid baseline game, but in the end, Querrey's power was just too much to deal with. 25 aces, 74 winners, 75% of all the points won behind the serve and not allowing a single break of serve. Those are elite stats and when you are able to be as productive, it is tough to lose matches.
But, to beat someone like Nadal, he will probably be asked to do even more. Knowing that he's already done that in the past could definitely help. He defeated Nadal in Acapulco (2017), but that tournament is played in very fast conditions, where guys like Querrey are extremely dangerous. In Wimbledon, he will definitely not be able to hide behind it's serve as much, which means that he'll have to beat Rafa in those long rallies. Anybody that knows a little bit about tennis, knows how difficult of a task that is. There are a lot of similarities with the Kyrgios match I believe. Sam is pretty much the same type of player with less variation and flair. Trying to just hit through Nadal's defense in these conditions is unfortunately not going to work.
Betting odds & prediction
Similar to all the other quarterfinal matches, we have a distinctive favorite in this match as well. Interesting enough, bettors are not really buying too much into the underdogs at this stage. Everybody is expecting pretty straightforward wins for the favorites. Whether that is going to happen or not in all 4 matches, I don't know. But I feel like that could be the case in this one. With returners dealing easier with the big serves throughout this tournament, the focus has been on the groundstrokes and baseline play. Despite being in very good form, I don't believe Querrey has many chances in that department against Rafa. The conditions are too slow to allow him punching a hole into Nadal's defense and he is not versatile enough to execute a plan B, once it becomes obvious that the primary gameplan is not working.
Josh's Pick: Rafael Nadal -6 (-109)
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