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Friday, 6 September 2019

US Open Tennis Day 12 Picks 2019 (September 6th)

The final of the women's tournament has been set and we are now down to the final three days of the US Open.

On Friday we are going to have both men's Semi Finals which is a positive change from years ago when the two Semi Finals would be played on 'Super Saturday' and leave the second Finalist with little to chance of winning the tournament.

Now all Finalists will get a day of rest between matches which is key for the likes of Daniil Medvedev and Rafael Nadal who are favourites to meet on Sunday, but both dealing with injuries at the moment too. I still think they both make it, but it does raise some intrigue around the two Semi Final matches taking place today.

The Tennis Picks went 2-0 yesterday and I have updated the totals for the tournament with four matches left to go. I would be very disappointed if this is not a winning event, but I want more than that and looking to end the event on a high.

Daniil Medvedev - 1.5 sets v Grigor Dimitrov: Two underdogs won in the Quarter Final to set up this Semi Final match at the US Open as Daniil Medvedev saw off Stan Wawrinka in four sets and Grigor Dimitrov bested Roger Federer in five sets.

They were contrasting wins as Medvedev battled through the pain to maintain his run of form on the hard courts since Wimbledon came to an end. There were times when it looked like the youngster might just wilt under that pain, but he battled through some difficult moments and took the chances when they came his way to earn his spot in the final four of the last Grand Slam of 2019.

On the other hand Grigor Dimitrov fought back from 2-1 down against Roger Federer and by the end he was comfortably pulling away from an injured opponent. It was the first time the Bulgarian had beaten a player he has long been compared with, and also continues a remarkable run considering how poorly Dimitrov had been playing in the lead up to the US Open.

He has to be confident now and if there hadn't been a day of rest between the Quarter Final and Semi Final I would have made Dimitrov a healthy favourite to win the match considering Medvedev's physical issues. However the schedule might just give the Russian every chance as he doesn't just have one day, but two days rest to at least put himself in the best physical shape possible to reach a maiden Grand Slam Final.

Both players will be dealing with that pressure, but I do think Medvedev may feel he has less to lose overall as he is going to have a few more chances to get to a Grand Slam Final considering his development. For Grigor Dimitov I think it is very clear that he won't ever have a better chance of not only playing in a Slam Final, but actually winning one, something I truly believed had passed him by a couple of years ago.

There is no doubt in my mind who the superior player going to the court is- the only issue is how much Daniil Medvedev has left and whether the two days are enough to at least get him back to 80% of his capabilities on the court. I can't imagine he is going to be anything near 100%, but Medvedev is a smart player and has shown he can know when to push and when to take a step off in order to give himself the best chance of winning a match.

Despite the injury that Daniil Medvedev is clearly dealing with, he has actually been playing at a consistently higher level than Dimitrov at the US Open and I do think it is critical he has two days between matches. When these two met on the hard courts in Washington two years ago, Medvedev hammered Dimitrov but I expect the physical issues means this is a little tighter and the Bulgarian will have some chances.

Ultimately I maintain that his return is going to be the letdown for him at some point in this tournament and Daniil Medvedev is serving well enough to expose that here. The younger player is also the superior returner and I expect him to pose Dimitrov a few problems, especially when you consider he has created at least seven break points in each of his five matches in the tournament.

Danill Medvedev has broken in 30% of return games at Flushing Meadows in 2019, while Grigor Dimitrov has done the same in 26% of return games played, which isn't a big difference, but the latter has seen his return numbers decline in each passing Round. He was also boosted by Roger Federer's injury seeing him fall away in the final two sets of their Quarter Final and I do think Daniil Medvedev is going to have the edge.

I have to give credit to Dimitrov for the way he has been serving though and he will need a huge day in that department to earn the upset. It is possible if Medvedev's body breaks down, but I think the Bulgarian is going to need something like that to happen if he is going to win this match.

My feeling is that if this goes beyond four sets that Dimitrov will be a big favourite to progress, but Medvedev has shown he can find the right moments to really step in and I think the additional day of rest helps the youngster recover just enough to win this one in three or four sets.

Rafael Nadal - 7.5 games v Matteo Berrettini: My immediate reaction to this spread is that it is a lot of games to give away against someone who is serving like a monster, but the highlight reel doesn't say everything about the level of performance of any player.

I like Matteo Berrettini and I have a lot of time for players who go for their huge shots and can hit more often than not. I also think the Italian is very keen to work at his game to improve and again I have nothing but respect for someone like that and he deserves his impending place in the top 15 of the World Rankings.

However I don't think it is harsh to say that Berrettini is pretty one-dimensional on the court. He wants to hit the big serve and follow it up with a huge forehand, but the backhand is average at best and this is a player who can defend well, but is most certainly not half as dangerous when on the move as when he can stand on the baseline and hit the huge forehand time after time.

Gael Monfils' tactics from being a set and a break up were pretty dire and I am convinced that an 18 time Grand Slam Champion like Rafael Nadal is not going to make the same mistakes as the Frenchman. I expect to see Nadal play this match as he would against someone like Roger Federer a few years ago, namely that he will look to target the backhand of Berrettini over and over again until he opens up the court and can hit the Italian's forehand while keeping him on the run.

My one concern has to be the tightness Nadal felt in his forearm in the Quarter Final win over Diego Sebastian Schwartzman and I do wonder if that has just meant the serve is not as effective as it can be. Rafael Nadal's numbers behind serve have declined in each of his last three matches, but at least he has the benefit of facing an opponent whose return is not amongst the best on the Tour.

For Matteo Berrettini things are very simple- he has to find a high percentage of first serves and play first strike tennis whenever he gets the chance. That is the only way he will be able to dictate points and perhaps have an opportunity for the upset as any rallies that develop into five or more shots will begin to favour his opponent.

He can do that and the Italian has nothing to lose, while he should have learnt a lot from his heavy defeat to Roger Federer at Wimbledon a couple of months ago. That came off the back of a long five set win and the same is happening here which means I do have to wonder how much is left in the tank for Matteo Berrettini.

I think that fatigue is a real concern for Berrettini in this match and I do think Rafael Nadal will make enough balls back in play to put the serve under pressure. A really tired Gael Monfils created fifteen break points in the last Round and that is the third time in this tournament that Matteo Berrettini has given up at least ten break points in a match.

The Nadal return is working in good order and I think he will know what kind of opportunity he has in front of him to move to within one Grand Slam of Roger Federer. I don't think the Spaniard will be giving that up and I will look for him to wear down Matteo Berrettini and eventually pull clear for a strong win on the scoreboard, although I also think the Italian is going to be a player who will be able to maintain his standards in the years ahead much better than Marco Cecchinato who reached the Semi Final at the French Open eighteen months ago.

MY PICKS: Daniil Medvedev - 1.5 Sets @ 1.85 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Rafael Nadal - 7.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet365 (2 Units)

US Open Update: 25-17, + 7.38 Units (84 Units Staked, + 8.79% Yield)

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