Nadal vs Monfils – Frenchman has hard court history over Nadal
Gael Monfils already has a hard court victory over Rafael Nadal in his career and he will be keen to repeat this result when he meets the world number one in the final of the Japan Open.
Monfils has only beaten Nadal once in their seven career meetings, with this victory coming in straight sets last year in the quarter-final stages of the Qatar Open.
He comfortably overcame Radek Stepanek in his semi-final in Tokyo and can be backed at 5/2 to beat Nadal and claim a first tournament victory of 2010.
Nadal got the better of their most recent encounter on an outdoor hard court at last year’s US Open, while he also secured victory in their only clash this year during the Madrid Masters series.
The Spaniard is the comfortable 2/7 favourite to beat Monfils, but he will almost certainly have to perform match better than in his semi-final success over the unseeded Viktor Troicki, who he had previously never even dropped a set against.
Nadal had to save two match points in the third set and rely on two tie-breaks to progress 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 7-6 (9-7).
Last year’s US Open meeting is still the only time that a showdown between the pair has not been won in straight sets, when Nadal won in four at Flushing Meadows.
Nadal has won two of the last three clashes in straight sets and it is 8/11 that he wins the final 2-0, while 3/1 is on offer that he repeats his 2-1 victory over Troicki.
Winning the first set is liable to be extremely important if Monfils is to beat Nadal and he can be backed to do so at 7/4, while Nadal is 5/1 to lose the first set but still recover to beat Monfils.
Monfils has also beaten Andy Roddick en route to the final in Japan. See the full Nadal vs Monfils match betting odds market.