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tennis | Saturday, March 19, 2022 12:11 AM (Revised at: Saturday, March 19, 2022 1:02 PM)

Saturday's Tennis Best Bet: March 19th

Saturday's Tennis Best Bet: March 19th
Cal Sport Media / Alamy Stock Photo

ATP Indian Wells: Alcaraz vs Nadal Best Bet

Saturday, March 19th, 19:00 (UK Time)

With the Indian Wells Masters reaching its final stages, it’s finally time to turn my attention to the Men’s side of the draw. Saturday evening’s schedule features a mouthwatering semi-final involving two Spaniards at opposite ends of their sporting journeys.

35-year-old Rafael Nadal is in the final years of his illustrious career (not that he’s showing it), whilst 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz is just beginning his one, which looks destined for the top.

Nadal has started 2022 in relentless fashion, winning all 19 of his matches so far this year. He backed up his second Australian Open title with victory in Acapulco last month, and he is now six wins away from equaling his longest winning streak on hard courts.

Alcaraz himself has had an incredible start to the year, emerging victorious in 12 of his 13 matches – a run which included picking up his second career ATP title in Rio De Janeiro. Unlike Nadal, Alcaraz is yet to drop a set en route to his first ever Masters 1000 semi-final, and he has been able to showcase his excellent all-round game in the process.

Whilst Alcaraz’s power helped him crush experienced opposition in the form of Roberto Bautista-Agut and Gael Monfils, against whom he only faced one break point, his determination and speed around the court enabled him to defeat Cameron Norrie in the last round. In Saturday’s semi-final, he will need all of these abilities in equal measure. Not only does Nadal represent an extremely tough opponent for Alcaraz physically, but there is also a mental barrier to cross, with the young Spaniard publicly referring to Rafa as his “idol”.

The previous head-to-head between these two players ended in a convincing 6-1, 6-2 victory for Nadal. However, Alcaraz admitted feeling incredibly nervous and overwhelmed during that affair. Although this matchup promises to be a lot closer, there will certainly be more nerves than usual on his side of the net again. If Alcaraz serves as he did against Norrie, where he won just 59% of the points behind his first serve and faced nine break points, it will be harder to recover from the deficit.

Overall, Nadal’s increased experience in these scenarios can’t be ignored, and I am confident he will extend his winning run to 20 matches. Achieving the victory with a -2.5 game handicap is also generously priced at 2.02 with Marathonbet.

  • Selection: Nadal -2.5 games handicap
  • Best Odds: 2.02 (Marathonbet)
  • Stakes: 6/10

Odds as at 2am March 19th 2022. Odds may now differ

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