Spain’s Rafael Nadal is on the cusp of a fourth title on the 2022 season and, at the same time, a 37th career ATP Masters 1000 title when he takes on American Taylor Fritz in the Indian Wells final on Sunday. Will Nadal triumph at the expense of Fritz, who is making his first Masters 1000 final or will the 24-year-old American deliver one of the biggest upsets of the season?
Tennis betting odds and markets are in full swing at BetUS sportsbook for this fascinating showdown between Nadal and Fritz and we delve into those as we preview the final and serve up choice tennis picks.
BNP Paribas Open Final Preview
Rafael Nadal Versus Taylor Fritz
Nadal reached his fourth consecutive final after beating Carlos Alcaraz in a three-set marathon, overcoming his compatriot 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 on a blustery afternoon in the Southern California desert.
Nadal versus Alcaraz was the marquee match on Saturday’s semifinal card and it didn’t disappoint despite the elements conspiring against the proceedings.
So funny how everyone in the stadium, fans and Alcaraz, understands the reference about Nadal’s water bottles. A 10000 person inside joke pic.twitter.com/oIDqk7jsKz
— Matthew Willis (@mattracquet) March 20, 2022
In the midst of the second set, the conditions were so tricky that both players struggled to hold serve or find any rhythm. Alcaraz capitalized in the ninth game as he broke Nadal’s serve and then went on to serve it out and force a third and deciding set.
Fortunately, for the fans in the stands and viewers on television worldwide, the wind subsided enough before the third set got fully underway. Both players raised their level substantially and, in the end, the best player on the day won.
The moment Nadal virtually won this match pic.twitter.com/1KkrC8Cg41
— Bastien Fachan (@BastienFachan) March 20, 2022
Alcaraz, one the young guns on the ATP Tour that is earmarked for greatness, gave Nadal a right run for his money. The 18-year-old took it to his idol and created multiple chances to get ahead. However, Nadal, the consummate champion that he is, found a way to preserve.
Nadal’s win over Alcaraz marked his 20th victory on the season as he extended his unbeaten run to 20-0 and three titles, including his 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open.
By any measure, Nadal is off to one of his best starts to a season. He’s one win away from winning his 37th career Masters 1000 title, which would put him on a level with Novak Djokovic with the most Masters 1000 victories.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) March 19, 2022
Standing in Nadal’s way is debutant Taylor Fritz, who matched his previous best by reaching the semifinals of Indian Wells for a second straight year. Now, he’s gone one better after beating Andrey Rublev in straight sets.
Fritz and Rublev kicked off Saturday’s semifinal round in the early afternoon. As per the bookmakers, Fritz was the significant underdog against his highly-ranked opponent. However, the 24-year-old played within himself and overcame Rublev 7-5, 6-4.
Tennis Betting Predictions and Picks
It should come as no surprise that Nadal is the favorite across the betting online board. BetUS tips Nadal as the -330 favorite to win straight up and, to all intents and purposes, he’s probably the smart bet to come through on those favorable odds.
Nadal’s experience at this level, his impressive championship credentials and his indisputable awesomeness are some of the aspects that have bettors gravitating towards him for their tennis picks on a regular basis. Simply put, he’s a winner.
This doesn’t mean that Fritz is a no-hoper. He has every opportunity to deliver the upset. Nobody expected Fritz to emerge out of the bottom half of the draw., so one could argue that he’s playing with house money right now. Fritz is priced at +240 to win outright at the sportsbook exchange.
There’s a difference between having a theoretical shot and a realistic shot to pull off the feat. Right now, it feels like the former rather than the latter where Fritz is concerned. The American did face Nadal in the Acapulco final in 2020 but lost 6-3, 6-2. To date, that is the only meeting between this pair.
Whatever happens on Sunday, Fritz is set to become the No.1 American on the ATP Tour, which is a testament to the leaps and bounds he’s made in the last two years. However, beating Nadal might be one leap too far. Color the world shocked if he pulls off the feat!