Rafa will be happy that the surface is clay and not blue
Rafael Nadal vs. Tomas Berdych: This May be Closer than One Would Think
Rafael Nadal on clay in Spain versus an opponent he has dominated in the past. Sounds like a recipe for a one-sided thrashing. Rafa has played well enough in Madrid to make Barcelona seem like a thing of the past. Is there any reason to think Berdych has a chance? Actually, yes.
Tomas Berdych pushed Novak Djokovic hard at Monte Carlo. Berdych is #2 in the points race for 2015 due to consistently good results across events. Berdych’s best win in 2015 came over Nadal at the Australian Open. If Berdych serves and returns well, he can dictate play in many points. This first strike tennis has been working well as of late. It can work on clay versus Rafa, but will it?
I think if Rafa’s backhand has enough depth and he takes care of his own serve, Rafa will be too much on clay for Berdych. Normally, I don’t qualify Rafa’s chances on clay with ifs, but Berdych and Rafa’s 2015 form dictate a few ifs being added. Still, I think Rafa is the favorite. I do think playing in Madrid and a revenge factor from Melbourne both help Rafa’s chances as well.
My Prediction: Rafael Nadal d. Tomas Berdych 7-6, 6-4