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Nic Ladds 3rd Jul 2010 - 13:36

Nadal's nerve to overcome Berdych's serve

The draw has certainly favoured Rafael Nadal this 2010 Wimbledon, where-as Tomas Berdych has climbed a grass-court mountain.

For the 24 year old Czech this is a career highlight and 2010 may turn out to be his finest year in the game having already reached his first major semi-final at the French Open, but for punters it may prove a tricky one.

On statistics, match odds, and looking at their head-to-head history, Rafael Nadal will win the 2010 Wimbledon crown more than likely in straight sets (11/8 Nadal 3-0) as the last time Tomas Berdych managed to gain a win over Nadal was in 2006 in Madrid.

They've since played on six occasions and the Czech has not been able to even win a set.

The Spaniard can pull an unexpected shot from nowhere. His backhand is as strong as his forehand and of course, what it all comes down to - he provides me with profitable returns, but in Sunday's Wimbledon final I find myself holding back.

Since returning from injury the Spaniard just hasn't looked the same dominating player we knew and loved, and priced at 3/10 in the betting to beat Tomas Berdych (5/2) I can't add Nadal to my bet slip. Not yet anyway.

Tomas Berdych has scalped Roger Federer (who for the first time since 2001 won't take part in a Wimbledon final ) and Novak Djokovic en-route to Sunday's finale and if the hard-hitting Czech can keep fatigue at bay for one more match, we could see the biggest ‘shock result ' since Goran Ivanisevic put his name in the history books when his famous wild card entry turned into a tournament win.

I as a Nadal backer I certainly fear the final against Tomas Berdych much more than the semi against Andy Murray, which is unusual as Murray entered Wimbledon as number 4 seed while Berdych was installed as 12th seed.

I didn't think Andy Murray would trouble Rafael Nadal as the two met in the Wimbledon semi final and the Spaniard could have - perhaps should have been shorter, and I would have still felt at ease lumping on Rafa.

Tomas Berdych's serve has not only been hitting hard in the courts, but also the tennis headlines with some believing he has the ability to out serve Nadal. The only problem with this theory is Nadal is one of the greatest returners in the game. Add this to the nerves of appearing in a Grand Slam final at Wimbledon and there's little doubting who will come through victorious.

Personally, I will be keeping a very close eye on the match prices once the game gets underway and In-Play betting begins.

I'd prefer to see opening games of the match, observe the mood of the players and how they're moving on the grass and if Nadal looks good, I'm happy to sacrifice some of the price in order to have a safer winning bet.

So, I'm going to say Rafael Nadal to win in straight sets 3-0 at 11/8, perhaps 3-1 at 12/5 if Berdych plays well. But at the end of the day, this is a grand slam final which brings with it a whole new level of pressure for the players. Nadal is too familiar with this scenario and Berdych is not.

We've some really interesting markets on offer where you may feel able to tweak some value out of Nadal.

If you think Rafa will come out all guns blazing and break Tomas Berdych at the first attempt as well as holding his own serve, you can back both opening games to go the way of the Spaniard at 7/2, with Berdych obviously larger at 6/1 to achieve the same feat. The expected 1-1 after two games in the first set is 3/10.

Rafael Nadal to win : 3/10

Rafael Nadal to win 3-0: 11/8

Rafael Nadal to win 3-1: 12/5

1st set scorecast: Rafael Nadal 6-4: 7/2

Number of sets in the final: 3 sets @ 6/5 | 4 sets @ 6/4 | 5 sets @ 11/4


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