Nadal leads their previous matches 8-4. They last met in Barcelona in April this year. Thiem won on clay in straight sets. All Thiem’s wins were on clay. Only one of their matches was not on clay.
This is a repeat of last year’s final which Nadal won in straight sets. Nadal has lost just 1 set so far. That was to David Goffin in the 3rd round. Federer put up a good fight for their first two sets but was always behind.
If anyone can challenge Nadal on clay right now it is Dominic Thiem. Thiem beat Djokovic in 5 sets in the semi final. The match was spread over 2 days due to rain and bad light. He lost a set in each of the first 3 rounds.
Nadal will be a little more rested having beaten Federer on Friday. Thiem has played 2.5 sets in the last 2 days. I don’t think Nadal wins in straight sets. There is potential that this can go to 5 sets. Nadal being fresher will be more significant in a 5th set.
Barty has won both their previous matches. They last met in Cincinnati in August 2018 on a hard court. She won in straight sets. The other match was on grass in 2017 in Birmingham. She also won in 2 sets.
Overall results are strong for both players in the last 12 months and also in 2019 but slightly favour Barty. Both women won 83% of their clay matches in the last year but Vondrousova has stronger clay results in 2019. She leads 88% v 83% matches won.
Barty could have been forgiven for expecting Anisimova to suffer a “let down” after beating Halep in the quarter final. When Barty took a 5-0 lead She perhaps started to think she was going to have an easy match and was practically in the final. She relaxed a little and Anisimova had nothing to lose. Barty lost the set in a tie break. Her head was all over the place and she went 3-0 down in set 2 before she sorted herself out. She then won 6 in a row to level the match. In the deciding set Anisimova again took the first break but 2 breaks in a row for Barty put her in control. She needed 6 match points to seal the win.
Vondrousova was 4-5 down in both sets but Konta was broken to 30 serving for each set. Konta’s serve was good but not at the same level as it had been in the last match against Stephens. The semi final was probably Vondrousova’s best serving performance of the tournament. She also beat in form Petra Martic in the quarter final. Vondrousova has not lost a set so far. Her serve has been a slight issue for her. Too many double faults even in matches were she was under no pressure.
Stats for the tournament are very even. They show a slight edge to Barty on serve and the smallest of edge for Vondrousova on return. It is very difficult to separate them so we have value on Vondrousova. Both players are in their first slam final so will be nervous. they will both get tight when leading. I think the weight of expectation is higher on Barty as she is already a top 10 player and the market favourite.
It is hard to see this not going to 3 sets. I am giving Vondrousova the slight edge to win the title. We should see a few price swings. Lay Barty if she breaks. Lay the set 1 winner.