Yesterday we had a very one sided semi and then one top quality, exciting, tight semi final. I have a feeling we will see the same today. Both Del Potro and Janowicz won their most recent match with today’s favourites.
First up is Djokovic against Del Potro.
The last time these two met was in the semi final in Miami. Del Potro won in 3 sets having lost the first. Djokovic won the previous 4 matches with Del Potro managing just 1 set in those matches. Total head to heads are 8-3.
If Ferrer hadn’t left his brain in the locker room or perhaps if he wasn’t distracted by his own injury concerns then Del Potro would probably have retired after losing the first set of the quarter final. As it happened Del Potro was still able to compete on virtually one leg and having taken a second break to win the set 6-2 he figured ( correctly ) that it was worth battling on. His serve proved to be unbreakable as Ferrer was unable to take either of his 2 break points.
Both these players have reached this stage without dropping a set. Djokovic has had a tougher route to the semis and if Haas and Berdych weren’t able to nick a set from the world number 1 you have to think that the injured giant will also struggle to do so. The Del Potro team have had a couple of days to get him patched up and he will be relying on his serve to keep him in the sets. I seriously doubt that Djokovic will be as accommodating as Ferrer was and he won’t be sending most returns into Del Potro’s favourite hitting zones.
Del Potro’s best chance of taking a set is the first but as the match wears on Djokovic will get a handle on the serve and he certainly won’t be going easy on his opponent. If Del Potro’s injury starts to be an issue he will find himself being pushed wide on his backhand and being made to run at every opportunity.
Djokovic in 3 or 4 sets.
Update: Superb match! Djokovic had the chance to finish it in 4 sets but Del Potro came back in the tie break to take it to a 5th set.
Djokovic won 7-5, 4-6, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3.
Andy Murray faced an opponent in the quarter final who was playing some of the best tennis that we have seen from him in a long time. Verdasco was also serving superbly and pushed Murray to 5 sets having taken the first 2 sets.
That’s sure to be his biggest test before meeting Djokovic in the final right? Well there is that guy who serves at 140 miles per hour and who beat Murray in November last year.
Murray’s reaction in the first 2 sets to the Spaniard’s big serving was to retreat beyond the baseline and it wasn’t until his back was firmly against the wall at 0-2 that he started to play his own game.
Janowicz has shown that he’s an emotional guy. Ripping his shirt off after a win or crying after a quarter final win demonstrates how much heart he puts into his performances. Nothing wrong with that at all as long as he makes it work for him and not against him. The crowd have been cheering him along as they love the big hitters and they wanted to see him play Murray. How will he react to the whole crowd being against him?
Janowicz could be a danger to Murray’s hopes of taking the Wimbledon title. Before last year I would have said it is a serious danger but I think Murray has done enough by now to show that he isn’t the bottler that he used to be. Ivan Lendl was a miserable sod when he was playing but his focus and determination to win were incredible. He has been able to instil that in his player ( he had the miserable sod bit down pat already). The old Murray at 0-2 in the quarter final would have been clutching his wrist or reaching for his hamstring or his shoulder or his knee or his mum.
He will have problems with the Janowicz serve and if the Pole’s ground strokes find their target regularly enough then this could be a long match. However Murray is the only one in this match with a plan B if things aren’t working and he will respond to any challenge on Centre Court this afternoon to give us the final we all hoped for.
Murray in 4 sets.
Update: Murray won 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.