You’d be hard pressed to find a better run to a Grand Slam Final than what Nadal has delivered over the past fortnight. He’s dropped just one set the whole way through and hasn’t even been forced into a tie-break. His win over Roger Federer last time out was especially impressive, breaking serve 6 times in a straight sets win. Nadal’s serve has been excellent all tournament, consistently winning 75% of his first serve points.
Thiem has also had a very impressive run, advancing against a tough trio of opponents in his last 3. He had two very solid wins in the 4th round and the quarters, beating #14 seed Monfils and #10 seed Khachanov in straight sets. His 5-setter against Novak Djokovic yesterday was particularly epic, winning 7-5 in the 5th. Now 24-5 in singles matches at Roland Garros, Thiem has cemented his status as one of the best clay court players in the world.
Prediction: Nadal 3-0 $2.15
While I’d usually give Thiem a set in this matchup, the schedulers have done him absolutely no favours here. Several rain delays in his match with Novak meant that he only finished his match around 24 hours before the start of this one. Nadal, on the other hand, is incredibly well rested following a comfortable defeat of Federer. Over a 5-set match, I think Nadal still has a significant edge here, as he showed in last year’s final. With the scheduling and rest advantage to boot, I like him in straights at $2.15.
Tying in with my above bet, I also really like the under 36.5 games market in this one. Assuming Nadal wins this one in straight sets, the final total likely ends up under 30 games. It also acts as a decent hedge in case Thiem pulls a set out as it could still very likely go under this number. The two of these men have combined for just 2 tie-breaks all tournament, making me think we should be in for some low scoring sets. At $1.85, I think there’s a decent chance of this bet cashing.