It is 8.23 PM Sunday night in the land of Western Australia. Not sure what time the Madrid Mens Singles Final is on tonight but will post this tip hopefully before they start. The clock at the bottom of my chapters is not actually correct and not certain how to change it but will work on it folks.
So to Madrid ; Not quite certain why Andy Murray is playing so well on clay at the moment but his form is good and he has had some good wins as has Rafa but I believe Murray will be no match for the Spaniard.
These two have met several times on the dirt and Murray hasn't given Rafa too many problems and I don't see why this final will be any different. Nadal has found his 'mojo' again and I believe he will win in straight sets, perhaps after a tight first set as he did with Berdych.
Speaking of whom, here is a player who simply can't find consistency with his semi final appearances lately and who seems happy to just be in the last four but lacks the hunger to go further. I believe he has made eight semi's this year so far without a title.
In fact in consecutive tournaments in Dubai and Indian Wells Thomas Berdych was on the receiving end of two 'bagel' sets from both Novak and Roger. Whilst those two are ridiculously brilliant tennis players I see no reason why apart from maybe his head that a player of Berdych's ability cannot win a game in a set against those two.
Does he have the same 'head issues' as Sammy Stosur when it comes to the big matches against the top players ? Possibly, however Berdych does own some flair and doesn't force you to either change channels or go and watch the grass growing as I find myself doing whenever Sammy lands prime time viewing. My apologies for comparing those two, chalk and cheese but it does make you wonder why a player who can hit a ball that well can't find that extra gear when required.
I believe that it's all in the mind with Thomas who can be a rather fiery customer at times, his match against Almagro in the Australian Open in 2012 was testimony to that fact. Refusing to shake an opponent's hand who you have just beaten is rather strange to say the least as Berdych felt the Spaniard targeted him with a forehand drive that hit him and knocked him over. Great shot by Almagro by the way...
The Spaniard apologized profusely after doing it and many felt that it was sincere, the big Czech though did not, hence his refusal to shake hands. Almagro gained some revenge the following year in Shanghai in a third set tie breaker and celebrated accordingly. The two did actually shake hands at the conclusion of that match.
If you watch footage of the shot at the Aussie Open in 2012 you may just agree with me that Berdych needs to 'toughen up' just a little. He's a big lad, tennis balls aint cricket balls.....
So back to my tip, sorry I tend to get side tracked, part of having a mind like a tin of worms. I will pick Rafa to win 5 and 2, perhaps a brave tip as Andy is going great guns but I still believe the two are Worlds apart on clay.
If Andy wins this or even takes a set I may just put my tipping cue back in the rack for good......