Men's Wimbledon Semi-Finals Preview

Author
by Mark Knight
July 11th 2019, 2:14am

Wimbledon reaches a crescendo this weekend as arguably the three best players in the history of the sport aim for the title at SW19.

As Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal prepare to face off for the 41st time, Novak Djokovic will have a much easier time of it on paper as he faces 23rd seed, Roberto Bautista-Agut.

Djokovic v Bautista-Agut

First match on center court at 8am Eastern features World number 1, Novak Djokovic.

Novak Djokovic

He's had an extremely easy route to the semis, beating four unseeded players before steamrolling 27th seed David Goffin in the quarters.

The Serb has a stellar record at Wimbledon, winning it on four occasions ('11, '14, '15 and '18) with one runner-up spot ('13) and is playing very well.

Match Winner

Games Handicap

If we look at the head-to-head record between the two though, it starts to look like a potentially closer matchup than the odds suggest.

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The overall record is 7-3 in favor of Djokovic, but RBA has won the last two, and three of the last five meetings. None have come on grass, and all of the Spaniard's wins have been in very close encounters - but there is certainly room for hope when you look at the stats.

Verdict

This might look a walkover for Djokovic, especially as the occasion may overwhelm Bautista Agut (his first ever appearance in the last four of a major). The Spaniard's record on grass also isn't exactly great (only 10-5 all-time at Wimbledon).

However, we're going to predict RBA will rise to the occasion and take it to the Serb, much like Goffin did in the previous round, before faltering. Djokovic in 4 close sets, and Bautista-Agut +7.5 games.

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Federer v Nadal

Onto the big one. Meeting #41 between two of the game's all-time greats.

Before last month's easy win for Nadal at Roland Garros at the same stage, Federer had regained the edge in this rivalry somewhat, with six straight wins. In three of those six, he was an underdog (one was a walkover).

Match Winner

First Set Winner

Set Betting

Rafael Nadal

This will be the first meeting on grass since the epic 2008 Wimbledon final, which Nadal won in almost darkness after 4h48m. They have only met three times in total on the surface; Federer leading 2-1.

The Swiss has looked quite good through the Championships, without being at his absolute best. Having strangely dropped the first set in his opening round match, he won 12 straight sets before losing the first set to an inspired Kei Nishikori this week. He went on to win that one fairly comfortably.

Nadal's route through the draw has seen him demolish all in his path. But for a small second set blip against the precocious Australian Nick Kyrgios, he's won every set. Outside of that matchup, he hasn't even been forced to a tie-breaker.

Verdict

Tough call, as always. Form on grass says Federer should be favourite. Overall head-to-head says Nadal.

Nadal played so well to win the French Open last month, and when looking at bare results, hasn't stopped since he reached London. While Federer did win Halle, he struggled in a couple of matches (one against Tsonga, which gives a form line to Nadal, who drubbed Tsonga last week).

Take Nadal to win this in 4.

Total Sets

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