It has been a fairly straightforward 2016 Australian Open as far as the men’s singles draw is concerned; well, almost! The top three seeds in Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Roger Federer secured their spots, along with the Canadian sensation Milos Raonic. With just three more matches to go before identifying the winner of this year’s first Grand Slam, the stage is set for an exciting end. Let’s take a look at what’s in store in the semi-finals.
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One of the biggest rivalries in the modern tennis era will play its 45th episode at the Rod Laver Arena on Thursday evening. Their head-to-head is tied at 22-a-piece but Djokovic has won three of the last four meetings. Which way will this one sway?
For Federer, this has been a relatively straight forward campaign so far. The only set he has dropped was to Grigor Dimitrov (who incidentally is nicknamed the new Federer). The Swiss maestro even brushed aside the usually tricky Tomas Berdych very easily in the quarters. Federer looks relaxed and confident of his game as he heads into his biggest test of the tournament. The recruitment of Ivan Ljubicic to his coaching setup was done with an eye on correcting his record against Djokovic. Will that bear fruit?
Surprisingly, the road to semis for Djokovic proved trickier than that of Federer. The round of 16 match against Giles Simon went down to the wire and Djokovic won the game despite 100 unforced errors. His quarter-final win over Kei Nishikori was regular but for the first time in a long while, Djokovic is looking beatable. Can Federer tame the Serbian? For a change, the Djoker could be looking at Federer’s camp with a little bit of worry.
The Brit had to weather problems on and off the court to make it to the semis. It was expected that the feisty Scot would be the biggest threat to Djokovic and Murray has lived up to those expectations thus far. Apart from losing a set to Joao Sousa in the third round, it was only the tricky quarters against David Ferrer that troubled Murray. The big-serving Raonic could be a tricky opponent but can Murray find his way?
The 25 year old Raonic has been a torch bearer for Canadian tennis and he created another piece of history by becoming the first Canadian man to reach the Australian Open semi-finals. Before beating Gael Monfils, the Canadian upset defending champion Stan Wawrinka in the fourth round. Having already won the Brisbane Open by defeating Federer, Raonic is on a nine-match winning streak. Can he continue that and create one more upset? Is Murray up for the taking for Raonic?
Raonic may give a tough fight but Murray should make his fifth Australian Open final.
Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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