Much has been made of Rafael Nadal’s apparent loss of form in this year’s French Open, but the Spaniard will have no trouble easing past Robin Soderling today.
One highly respected sports paper has recommended its readers this morning to back Soderling at 9/1 to win 3-0, but that punt ranks alongside Bellamy taking on the Cardiff City managerial job as the joke bet of the week.
Rafael Nadal is so superior on clay that even his apparent loss of form cannot stop the Spaniard winning his last three French Open matches in straight sets and the world number one is 3/10 to beat Soderling.
An injured Nadal was defeated by Soderling in his only French Open loss in 2009, but too much has been made of that result and Soderling is yet to win any match of note this year, reaching the latter rounds but failing to put a fight against the top seeds.
Nadal has defeated Soderling twice on the clay courts of Roland Garros with straight sets wins in 2006 and 2010, and the Spaniard is 6/4 to make it a hat-trick of French Open straight set wins.
Nadal’s apparent lack of form has been highlighted because of consecutive defeats to Novak Djokovic, but the Serb is in the form of his life and Nadal’s B clay court game is still good enough to send a stagnant Soderling back to the changing room empty handed.
Soderling is 4/6 to win with a +5.5 game start in the handicap betting and a tiebreak at any point in the match is priced at 4/5.
The betting would suggest a tight Nadal win but we fancy a straight sets win for the Spaniard following a tight first set – Nadal is 6/1 to win the first set 7-6.