This year’s Australian Open has been like no other as we approach the final weekend of action. There have been so many thrilling matches across nearly a fortnight in Melbourne and we aren’t done just yet. Here, we’ve taken a look at the upcoming semi-finals for the Men’s draw and have delivered our best bet for both matches. Check them out below and good luck to everyone following!
Thursday, 7:30pm AEDT
The first semi-final is between two guys we are all too familiar with. One of the men in this match is the greatest of all time in Roger Federer. The Swiss superstar hasn’t had the easiest of runs to the semis to say the least. He looked down and out when he trailed 8-4 in a match tiebreak against Aussie John Millman in the third round, before reeling off six consecutive points to win the match. He then defeated Marton Fucsovics before he would meet Tennys Sandren in the quarterfinals, which would prove to be Federer’s toughest test yet. Somehow, Federer overcame a groin injury and seven match points to get the job done and advance to the final four.
The other guy in this match is also a superstar of tennis and it’s none other than Novak Djokovic. The Serbian is a seven time Australian Open champion, which is the most by any man ever. He’s the current defending champion and has looked at his scintillating best since arriving in Australia earlier this year. The Joker is undefeated this year and has won in straight sets in each of his last four matches, which is some really scary form if you’re running into him on Thursday night.
This will be match #50 in the Federer vs Djokovic rivalry. The Serb leads the head to head count 26-23 and he’s also won a dominant nine of their past 12 meetings, although Federer was the victory in their most recent clash last year in the ATP Finals. These stats make it seem like it will be a tight affair with Djokovic having the slight edge, however, considering what has transpired over the past week and a half in Melbourne, we see this match being very one-sided in favour of Djokovic. Federer has played 5, 4 and 5 sets in his last three and will come up against a fresh, fit and firing world #2. We expect Djokovic to win in straight sets and advance to yet another Australian Open final.
Friday, 7:30pm AEDT
The second of the men’s semi-finals is a Next Gen matchup between two guys the casual fan isn’t quite as familiar with. The first guy to get through on this side of the draw was Alexander Zverev. The 22 year old German has been budded as the next big thing in tennis for quite some time and while he has impressive in Masters Tournaments, he’s failed to deliver on those lofty expectations in Grand Slams. However, making a Grand Slam semi-final at 22 is no easy feat and it’s certainly well deserved. Zverev has had a very kind route to the semis with his only real tough test coming last round against former champion Stan Wawrinka. Zverev was able to put a really slow start behind him to regroup in the second set and go on to dominate what seemed to be a Stan Wawrinka without any gas in the tank.
The other young-ish gun in this match is Dominic Thiem. The 26 year old Austrian was once known as just a clay court specialist, however, he’s now transformed himself into a really hand hard courter and will be a huge threat at slams for years to come. Prior to this year his best performance at the Australian Open was making the fourth round in 2017 and 2018, so it’s clear to see he’s made huge strides in his game this season. Interesting, Thiem’s only five set match at this tournament was against Aussie wildcard Alex Bolt, although clearly his biggest test was in the quarterfinals when he saw off one of the best of all time in Rafael Nadal in four intense sets of world class tennis.
These two guys are good friends on Tour and despite being on the younger side of their careers; they’ve already met on eight occasions. Thiem has a dominant 6-2 lead in the head to head count, although five of those have come on Thiem’s preferred surface of clay - Thiem leads 2-1 on hard courts. Thiem has won the pairs only two meetings at Grand Slams and with this being Zverev’s first trip to the semis of a major, we have to favour the Austrian to make it 3/3. He’s played the better tennis of the two and Zverev is certainly prone to choking deep in slams. We have Thiem winning this match fairly comfortably, covering the games handicap in the process.
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