Information contained on this page is provided by an independent third-party content provider. WorldNow and this Station make no warranties or representations in connection therewith. If you have any questions or comments about this page please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE Sports Trading Club Ltd
LONDON, May 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
When the French Open begins Sunday, eight-time champion Rafael Nadal will find himself in an unfamiliar position: he won't be the prohibitive favorite to win the title. The clay-court virtuoso has experienced some uncharacteristic struggles in 2014, which make him the most vulnerable he's ever been entering a French Open.
Nadal only won one tournament during the European clay court swing (he's never won fewer than two and usually wins three). He blew a lead to Novak Djokovic in Sunday's Rome final. There were other springtime losses to Nicolas Almagro and David Ferrer. Nadal was pushed to three sets by Gilles Simon, Mikhail Youzhny and Andy Murray. And if not for Kei Nishikori's back injury that flared up during the Madrid final, Nadal may have gone 0-for-Europe.
Whilst his form slump has stunned the tennis world, the highly successful Sports Trading Club predicted in March that Nadal was vulnerable, and laid him not to win the French Open at 1.90 to lose US $9.3 million. He is now blown out to 2.90 and their trade is being considered visionary.
The Sports Trading Club http://www.sportstradingclub.com explains why they made this bold prediction two months before everyone else and why he won't win the French Open.
"Nadal lost more clay-court matches in the past month than he did in any season since 2005," STC analyst Brian Churchill said.
"Nadal has never lost three clay matches in any season since he first won at Roland Garros in 2005. In the one-month stretch from April 18 to May 18, he lost three times. That's the same amount of clay losses he had in the past two seasons combined," he explained.
"Nadal has lost more sets in Rome (5) than he did in all of his clay-court matches in 2012 (3)."
Losing five sets, as Nadal did in Rome, used to a bad season for Nadal. There were a lot of hard-to-stomach statistics coming from this clay campaign.
Before losing in Barcelona to Almagro, Nadal hadn't dropped a single set at the tournament since 2008. The loss to Ferrer was the first time Nadal was bested on clay by his fellow Spaniard since 2004. These weren't lightning-in-a-bottle wins either, the kind where an opponent has the match of his life to upset a great champion. The questionable losses and surprising three-setters involved top-30 players. Nadal simply looked mortal. He failed to consolidate breaks, had trouble putting away matches, played loose on break opportunities and was hitting more errant shots than usual. There were still the flashes of brilliance, of course, but there were flashes of mediocrity thrown in too.
"Another factor is his winning percentage dipped 17 points from his 10-year average," Mr Churchill said.
"From 2005 through the first two matches in Monte Carlo, Nadal had a staggering 295-11 clay-court record, which is a 96.4 winning percentage. Since then, he's gone 11-3 (78.6%)," he said.
"It's easy to lose perspective. For anyone else, one title, one finals loss and an 11-3 record during the European swing would be an exceptional way to enter the French Open. For Nadal, it's catastrophe."
©2012 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved.