Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Rafael Nadal.
In recent years, Rafael Nadal hasn’t enjoyed much success at Wimbledon. The “King of Clay” has not advanced past the fourth round since 2011. Last year, he endured a tough loss as a -1000 favorite against Gilles Muller — despite hitting 77 winners to just 17 unforced errors.
It’s hard to ignore some of Nadal’s losses at Wimbledon — and his respective odds. In 2015, the Spaniard went down as a -900 favorite to Dustin Brown. That loss came a year after Nick Kyrgios burst onto the scene to defeat Nadal, who was a -1600 favorite at the time. (Fortunately, I had a bet on Kyrgios.)
Both of those came after arguably his worst Wimbledon defeat, as a -10000 favorite in 2013 against Steve Darcis. And, lest we forget, the Lukas Rosol match of 2012, when the Spaniard lost (again) as a -10000 favorite.
Nadal opted not to play any grass tuneups, instead prepping for Wimbledon back home in Mallorca, Spain. I like that decision from Nadal, who should be fresh and composed to deal with a relatively weak quarter. If he can avoid another early shocker, I think he can carry over some momentum from his 11th French Open title.
Let’s take a deeper dive into this quarter of the draw by looking at notable head-to-head records, first-round nuggets and futures value.