Saturday, 7 September 2013
US Open Day 13 Picks- Men's Semi Finals 2013 (September 7th)
The US Open has reached the business end of the final Grand Slam tournament of the season and we still look on course to see the Final that everyone would have wanted at the start of the event as Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal need to win one more match to set that Final.
I was expecting Djokovic to have the more difficult Semi Final today and, while that is still the case in my opinion, I don't think many people would have predicted Stanislas Wawrinka to be the last man standing in the Serb's way for that place in the Final.
This is a big tournament for Djokovic to underline the fact that he is still the World Number 1- even though he won't lose that position as long as he reaches the Final, even a defeat in that match to Rafael Nadal will change the perception of most people as to who the real World Number 1 is.
Nadal is likely to finish the season in the top spot in the Rankings no matter how this tournament ends now as he has no points to defend in the final two months of the season and will be adding points from the World Tour Championships as well as two Masters events in Shanghai and Paris. It has been a fantastic season for the Spaniard since returning to the Tour last February, but both he and Djokovic will be looking for their second Grand Slam title of the season and that will be the most important statistic that either player would like to look back on in 2013.
Novak Djokovic win 3-1 v Stanislas Wawrinka: The first Semi Final should be a fascinating one to watch as long as Stanislas Wawrinka can bring in the form that saw him push Novak Djokovic all the way at the Australian Open back in January and the form that saw him blitz Andy Murray in the Quarter Final a couple of days ago.
Of course there will be some nerves for the Swiss man as he has never reached this stage of a Grand Slam before and he may also feel there won't be too many more chances for him to reach the Final of a major. Those factors can make a player tight and struggle to find their form, but Wawrinka does have a lot of tools in his game that can cause problems for Djokovic in this one.
Wawrinka has a big serve that can set up points and he is capable of ripping the ball off both wings on the ground, while Djokovic doesn't have a dominating serve himself which should give the Swiss player chances to break. With Djokovic's return game, there are bound to be plenty of breaks of serve in this one, after they combined for 14 breaks of serve in five sets back at the Australian Open.
You have to believe the experience of Djokovic of winning majors will give him the edge in this one, but I wouldn't be surprised if he drops his second set of the tournament on his way through to the Final.
Rafael Nadal - 8.5 games v Richard Gasquet: There is a video on YouTube where you can see Rafael Nadal and Richard Gasquet taking on one another in an under-14 tournament that Gasquet wins in three sets.
That is about as much success as the Frenchman has had against Nadal with his sole win on the professional circuit coming in their first meeting back in 2003 after Nadal was forced to pull out of the match after the first set.
Rafael Nadal has won 10 straight matches since that match on the Challenger circuit and he has only lost 4 sets in that time and his form during this tournament suggests this will likely end in another straight sets win for the Spaniard.
He has yet to be broken in the tournament and Richard Gasquet has come through two tough five set matches in a row and I can see him losing heart if he doesn't win the first set. If Nadal can take that one, I believe he will be able to move away from Gasquet as the match develops and I expect Nadal to come through with a 64, 62, 62 win.
MY PICKS: Novak Djokovic win 3-1 @ 3.60 Sporting Bet (1 Unit)
Rafael Nadal - 8.5 Games @ 1.75 Pinnacle (2 Units)
US Open Update: 29-36, - 6.22 Units (109 Units Staked, - 5.71% Yield)