For the 19th time in their career, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray will meet between the tennis lines as their paths collide in today’s 2014 Italian Open quarterfinals in Rome. According to a May 16 ATP report, this terrific matchup is scheduled for (around) 3:30 p.m. ET (2:30 p.m. CT/12:30 p.m. PT) on Tennis Channel and on ESPN-GO’s free live stream online.
For the “King of Clay” this year’s season hasn’t exactly gone has planned on a surface he’s dominated for almost a decade. In fact, the Spaniard comes into this clash against Murray looking for his first clay-court title of the season.
As a May 15 SI report details, Nadal’s recent struggles were present against Mikhail Youzhny in the third round. In fact, the seven-time Italian Open champ had to rally after falling behind the 16th-ranked Russian just to avoid what would have been a huge upset.
After dropping the opening set, the 13-time Grand Slam champ came roaring back to win the match by a final score of 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-1. But that’s not even the most alarming part for the world’s No.1 heading into the clash with Murray.
Less than 24 hours before his struggles against Youzhny, “Rafa” needed three hours and 19 minutes to eliminate Gilles Simon, in what became the longest three-set match of the 2014 ATP tennis season. The question is: How much does Nadal have left in the tank?
Luckily, he’s dominated the seventh-seeded Scot in their past meetings. Looking for his first win against Nadal on this surface, Murray will try and make a dent on a 13-5 deficit when they meet for the first time in over two years.
According to Italian Open tennis oddsmakers, Rafael Nadal [-625] is surprisingly listed as a huge betting favorite over Andy Murray [+475] this afternoon. The OVER/UNDER is set at a combined total of 21 games, and alternate lines go as follows: Nadal -4½ [-123] vs. Murray +4½ [+107].
Don’t miss what is sure to be another classic showdown between Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray. Tune to Tennis Channel to watch it live on your TV sets, or simply click on the link provided above to launch the free ESPN live stream.