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2017 Nitto ATP Finals, Round Robin, Pete Sampras Group: Preview and Betting Advice – Nadal vs Goffin

Rafa Nadal

Stats Perspective: (With context)

Stats are not my forte and even though I generally believe they can be the most misleading thing ever and interpretable in any way you like, I am going to use them on this one occasion to make a point here. This is very striking data and even if you’re someone that knows jack about tennis, you’ll sit up and take a stare, asking; “what the flaming f*ck is going on?” Yes “Why are these odds the way they are, other than the fact the guy’s name is Rafael Nadal?”

Goffin has a win-loss record of 13-6 this season indoors. This would indicate in theory he is now coming into an indoor tournament used to the tempo of rallies that are typically played on an indoor court and will probably not need much adjustment to find his tuning for the court here at the o2.

Nadal has a win-loss record of 3-1 this season, indoors. Two of those were in Paris, who always lay their courts with mud (Slowest/grittiest indoor court you’ll see) The other one was a squeak victory over Jack Sock indoors at the Laver Cup, in a Championship tiebreak. (Which was also played on a slow court) So now as an opposite to Goffin, wouldn’t this arguably indicate that in theory Nadal may find it tricky adjusting his style of tennis to the tempo of rallies that are typically played on an indoor court? (Straight away?)

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If that isn’t a good enough sample size then I understand, so I’m now gonna point out Nadal’s career win-loss record indoors of 58-33 vs Goffin’s career win-loss record indoors of 104-57. Obviously the more matches you play, the more chances there are of you losing. So Goffin’s is without doubt more impressive.

Let me tell you that Nadal has won one single indoor title in his entire career and it wasn’t at a tournament that lay their courts to play fast. He has not been beyond the 4th round of Wimbledon since 2010 (When he won it with a cake-walk draw) and as we know, grass is the most similar surface to a fast playing, low bouncing indoor hard court. This season the ATP has sped up the courts in London, slightly. (Obviously moaning from the fans and media has made an impact)

So now if I am being bias, due to the fact I find this guy’s game revolting, tell me how the so called objective stats are lying?

Now to looking outside mindless consumer stats:

Nadal is notorious for struggling against players that can take the ball early on their double handed backhand and rush him in preparation for his semi-western gripped forehand, with the lasou swing. Especially on grass and indoors. We know that the lasou swing is designed for operating best and most efficiently on a higher bouncing surface. o2 this year is the lowest bouncing it’s ever been since the world tour finals were being hosted in London. We could see that with how much two giants of the game in Zverev and Cilic struggled in their opener yesterday.

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Many over the years have (Rightfully IMO) suggested that Goffin is a downgraded version of Djokovic (That’s a compliment) and we know how Djokvoic matches-up against Nadal outside of clay, when he isn’t competing injured as he was this year.

Essentials to beating lefty Nadal on fast courts without a big serve:

  1. Technically perfect double handed backhand you never miss – Goffin? Check
  2. Timing & precision on this double handed backhand for licence to stand inside court & take ball early & rush Rafa on lasou forehand swing, as he moons heavily spun balls into the right handers backhand wing – Goffin? Check
  3. Exceptional movement side-to-side in order to cope with the angles Nadal conjures with his heavy topspin lasou-ed forehand – Goffin? Check
  4. Good placement on serve? Including slider out-wide on deuce side and slider down T on AD – Goffin? Double Check
  5. Groundies that can constantly change the tempo of the play, by switching from capturing angles to injecting pace with the faster and flat ball – Goffin? Check

Note: The final thing that’s needed is incredible fitness and injury clean health. Goffin slumped in Paris IMO due to fatigue, but there is now “noise” from little Chinese whispers that started going around that he may be injured. I have no clue, personally, but what I do know is he was supposed to be injured at multiple points during and throughout this season & in that same week each time, he went and won the tournament. 🙂 I’m smiling for a reason here. *nods*

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For me Goffin is categorically the most underrated and overlooked player on tour and given all is well with his physical make-up, will ATLEAST, come extremely close to nabbing his first win at the world tour finals tomorrow.

With all this bullshit said; the 3 wisest bets I can give you guys are:

4% (4 units) of the Bankroll on the match to go Over 21.5 games at close to Even money

(If Goffin is to lose, then it has to be in a match contested with atleast Over 21 games)

0.5% (0.5 units) of the Bankroll on Goffin to win a set at just above Even money

0.5% (0.5 units) of the Bankroll on Goffin to win the match at 4.47 dog odds

Disclaimer: Stake within your means. No more than 5% of your Tennis Bankroll. I will not be held accountable for lives ruined

PS: If you found the analysis  useful, spud me and retweet ??

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