Rafael Nadal vs Andy Murray prediction

George Jun 5, 2014 No Comment 39,557 views
French Open 2014
Rafael Nadal [1] (ESP) vs Andy Murray [7] (GBR)
ScheduleFriday, 6 June 2014 at 14:00 GMT / 15:00 UK / 19:30 IST
VenueCourt Philippe Chatrier
Two old rivals meet for a place in the final. In the immortal words of the Highlander, there can be only one.
Two old rivals meet for a place in the final. In the immortal words of the Highlander, there can be only one.

It was a brave win by the Scottish braveheart himself: Andy Murray, over French favourite Gael Monfils. Who would've guessed that Murray would take out the fifth set in their quarter final 6-0, after blowing the third and fourth sets, and with what appeared to be full blown momentum in Monfils favour. It was a funny old game, hampered by wet weather, a late start, and potentially a deferment to Thursday if the match could not be completed before nightfall. Thankfully for Murray, that did not occur, and now it's all on with a Friday semi final date with the imperious Rafael Nadal, the man with the imposing record on Roland Garros center-court: Court Philippe Chatrier.

While Murray has struggled with a couple of five set epics, Nadal on the other hand has moved through relatively comfortably. Countryman David Ferrer did steal the first set off Nadal in their quarter final clash, but that was the only sniff that Ferrer got, as Nadal turned up the heat, and won the next three sets in a canter. In the after-match interview, Andy Murray rated himself a chance against his Spanish rival, but also said that he'd need to play exceptional tennis to get past the man with the 65-1 record at this tournament.

It's difficult to put into context what this match-up means, considering their history of playing against each other. A lot of those prior results don't actually count for a lot when we are dealing with the here and now situation of a match of this magnitude. Anything can happen on the day, so it's best not to try and read too much into the statistics, as I have found to my amusement in trying to predict many of these matches over the last two weeks.

Head-to-head

Nadal and Murray have played each other 20 times, their latest encounter in Rome a few weeks back, where Nadal scraped home in three. Of concern to Nadal would have been his first set capitulation, losing it 1-6, though he won the next two 6-3, 7-5. The overall record currently stands at 14-6 in favour of Nadal, though interestingly prior to this years Rome event, the two hadn't played each other since early 2012. Whether form prior to 2012 can be factored into tomorrows match? I doubt it.

Prediction

Andy Murray will provide a stiff challenge, but I predict Nadal will get home in four.

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