18:00 – Nadal v Del Potro
Rankings are 1 and 90. Head to heads are 4-3 to Nadal with Del Potro winning their last 3 matches.
Nadal hasn’t been over impressive this tournament. He had to work hard to get past Karlovic and took the 3rd set in very tight tie break. He also got off to a slow start against Devvarman.
Del Potro hasn’t had everything his own way either. Robredo pulled out of their quarter final but in his other 2 matches Del Potro has had to win tie breaks in 3 of the 4 sets he has played.
Nadal is a champion through and through. No one is more competitive and like all champions he finds a way to get the job done in the big matches. He has held serve over 95% of the time in this tournament to Del Potro’s 86%.
Del Potro is not back to his best form yet but he is one of the few players who’s style of play gives him a good chance against Nadal. Del Potro is 6ft 5in and Nadal plays the ball quite high over the net particularly on his forehand. If the high balls go to Del Potro’s forehand then I think we’ll see some big hits from the Argentinian. When this guy really hits a forehand it doesn’t come back.
Del Potro’s serve isn’t upto the standard of Karlovic’s which is something in Nadal’s favour but the head to head is in Del Potro’s favour.
I can see Del Potro taking the first set or at least taking it to 3 sets and its very hard to pick a winner. For thats reason I think Nadal’s starting price of 1.53 is a little too low.
I wouldn’t want to lay at 1.53 though. I will be waiting to see who seems to be on top. If Nadal breaks early I will be laying him. If the first set is close, lay the set winner.
If I am pushed to pick a winner I have to go with Nadal as its a semi final and he is a big match specialist regardless of recent form.
Update: Del Potro raced into an early lead and was 4-1 up in the opening set. Nadal then stepped up a gear.
He took the set and finished the match in straights sets 6-4, 6-4.
20;00 – Djokovic v Federer
Rankings are 3 and 2. Head to heads are 13-8 to Federer although Djokovic has won their last 2 matches which were both in 2011 and both straight sets wins.
Neither player has lost a set so far but Djokovic hasn’t just beaten his opponents, he has battered them. His confidence is at an all time high. My only concern will be his fitness particularly if the temperatures soar.
How often do you get the chance to back Federer from the start at 2.5 though? I think Djokovic on current/recent form has to be the favourite but Federer is capable of turning in a good enough performance to get a little revenge.
I think an early lay of Djokovic is the way to start the trades. I also think that it won’t be a straight sets win for either player so I will be laying the first set winner.
Djokovic to win in 3 sets.
Update: Federer had 2 break points for an early lead but Djokovic saved them. He took control of the first set and I wasn’t sure Federer would have a response. But of course he usually does! Fed levelled the match but it was all Djokovic in the decider.
Djokovic won 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.