Match Preview: Rafael Nadal v Albert Ramos-Vinolas

This is the final of the Monte-Carlo Masters, the first masters event on clay for the year, and both men will be battling for their first title of the season. The final day of the Fed Cup semifinals will also be taking place today but there are not many top players competing. Nadal has dropped one set in his four matches on the way to the final were as Ramos-Vinolas has dropped three sets in his five matches on the way to the final.

Recent Form

Rafael Nadal has been playing some excellent tennis in recent times after one of the best Australian swings in his career. In his next tournament after the AO, he lost in the Acapulco final, which is a 500 level event, to Sam Querrey. In that run he enjoyed a great straight set win over Marin Cilic and then followed that up with a fourth round exit in Indian Wells. He lost to Roger Federer in that fourth round and he fell to Federer the next week as well in the final of the Masters event in Miami. His best win during his run to the Miami final was his win over the young-gun Jack Sock in his home country. Albert Ramos-Vinolas has been playing a lot since the Australian swing and he has had quite a few decent results. He reached the semifinals of the 250 level Quito event before falling to Paolo Lorenzi, he lost in the quarterfinals of Buenos Aires to Diego Schwartzmen, he got to the semifinals of the 250 event in Rio de Janeiro before going out to Dominic Thiem and then made the final of the 250 event in Sao Paolo before going out to Pablo Cuevas. He lost third round of Indian Wells to David Goffin and second round of Miami to Jiri Vesely. In his only other tournament on clay he went out in the second round of Marrakech to eventual champion Borna Coric. Overall, you can see that Ramos-Vinolas has been playing some good tennis and hasn’t taken many bad losses on clay.

Monte-Carlo Form

A lot of people say that Rafael Nadal owns Monte-Carlo, seeing that he has played here 13 times since 2003 and won the event 9 times in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2016. His worst result came in his first appearance in 2003 when he fell in the third round to Guillermo Coria in straight sets. He is defending championship points this year but by this point in his career he would be well and truly used to it. Monte-Carlo has not been happy hunting grounds for Albert Ramos-Violas and he has had limited success here before this year. He has played here six times since 2011 with his best results before this year coming in 2013, 2014 and 2015 when he lost in the second round to Fabio Fognini, Grigor Dimitrov and Novak Djokovic respectively. His worst result came on his debut in 2011 when he lost in the second round of qualifying to Maximo Gonzalez and last year he lost in the first round to Roberto Bautista Agut, so he has defended all his points and them some.

Head to Head Record

Rafael Nadal and Albert Ramos-Vinolas have played each other twice before in their careers, with times on clay and Nadal winning with times. There first meeting came in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Barcelona tournament and Nadal showed him who’s boss as he whipped past hime 6-3, 6-0. Their next meeting was in the 2014 Barcelona second round and this one was a little more competitive. Nadal ended up overcoming though and he got the win 7-6(7-2), 6-4 in a tight and entertaining match. I think that this will play a role in the match and it obviously favours Nadal, because of the ways Nadal has betaing Ramos-Vinolas.

Prediciton

Rafael Nadal will absolutely wipe the floor with Albert Ramos-Vinolas and the younger Spaniard won’t get a look in on the match. Ramos-Vinolas will come out very nervous and he will get his one service hold early as Nadal will also be nervous. He won’t win another game from there as Nadal will be at his peak form. This will be sending messages out to all the other players and the veteran will come out on top 6-1, 6-0.

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