2013 U.S. Open Tennis Men’s Semifinals
UTSA National Tennis Center – Flushing Meadows, New York
Arthur Ashe Stadium
Playing Surface: DecoTurf (hard)
Saturday, September 7, 2013, 12:00 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
All odds courtesy of 5 Dimes Sportsbooks
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have both won multiple grand slam titles. They were the top two seeds at this year’s U.S. Open and both made it to the semifinals as expected. Their opponents in the semifinals, #9 Stanislas Wawrinka (Djokovic) and #8 Richard Gasquet (Nadal) were surprises to make it this far. Not surprisingly, Djokovic and Nadal are heavy favorites to advance Saturday.
Here is a look at both matches with odds courtesy of 5 dimes Sportsbooks.
#1 Novak Djokovic (-450) vs #9 Stanislas Wawrinka (+360)
Djokovic is 26 from Serbia. He is 49-8 this season with titles at Monte Carlo, Dubai, and the Australian Open. Djokovic has 6 major titles including the 2011 U.S. Open. He lost to Andy Murray in the final last year of the U.S. Open. He beat Murray in the finals of the Australian Open this year, an event he has won 3 straight years. Djokovic lost to Nadal in a grueling 5 set match at the French Open and lost to Murray in the finals at Wimbledon. Djokovic has made it at least to the semifinals of the last 13 majors.
Djokovic beat Ricardus Berankis in the first round of the U.S. Open in 2013, Benjamin Becker in the second, Joao Sousa in the third, Marcel Granollers in the fourth, and #21 Mikhail Youzhny in the quarterfinals 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0. The third set against Youzhny was the only set Djokovic has lost so far. Becker took him to a tiebreaker in one set, but otherwise no one else has won more than 3 games in a set, including four 6-0 sets.
Wawrinka is 28 from Switzerland. He is 41-15 this season, with a title at Oeiras, and runner-ups at three other tournaments. Before this year, he had never advanced past the quarters of any major. He made the quarters here in 2010. This year, he made it to the fourth round of the Australian Open where Djokovic beat him in 5 sets with the fifth set scored 12-10. He made it to the quarters at the French and lost in the first round of Wimbledon.
Wawrinka beat Radek Stepanek in the first round here, Ivo Karlovic in the second, Marcos Baghdatis in the third, #5 Tomas Berdych, and upset #3 Murray 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 in the quarters. Baghdatis and Berdych both took a set off Wawrinka.
Djokovic has dominated the series against Wawrinka 12-2 including 11 straight matches. The meeting at this year’s Australian Open in the fourth round is their only meeting so far in 2013. Wawrinka was down two sets to Djokovic and down 3-1 in the third set in the round of 16 of last year’s U.S. Open but retired due to injury.
Djokovic has been dominant and should roll in this match-up. Wawrinka might take a set off of him, but I doubt it. Djokovic should probably be an even heavier favorite so -450 is good value.
#2 Rafael Nadal (-1700) vs #8 Richard Gasquet (+1100)
Nadal is 27 from Spain. He is 58-3 this season with 9 titles (most on his favorite clay surface including the French Open, where he is nearly unbeatable.) He does have titles on hard courts at Montreal and Cincinnati, and has won 17 straight matches since a first round exit at Wimbledon. Nadal missed the Australian Open with a stomach virus that left him too weak to train. He missed the Olympics and the U.S. Open last year with a knee injury. Nadal has 12 major titles including the career grand slam. He won the U.S. Open in 2010, and lost to Djokovic in the final in 2011.
Nadal beat Ryan Harrison in the first round, Rogerio Dutra Silva in the second, Ivan Dodig in the third, #22 Philipp Kohlschreiber in the fourth round, and #19 Tommy Robredo in the quarterfinals 6-0, 6-2, 6-2. Kohlschreiber won the first set in a tiebreaker but no one else has won more than four games in any set against him. Roger Federer was also in Nadal’s section as the #7 seed, but was upset by Robredo in the fourth.
Gasquet is 27 from France. He is 39-14 this season with titles at Montpellier and Doha. He made it to the semifinals of Wimbledon in 2007, but otherwise has never made it past the fourth round of any other major until now. He lost in the fourth at both the Australian and French Opens this year, and the third at Wimbledon.
Gasquet beat Michael Russell in the first round, Stephane Robert in the second, #32 Dmitry Tursunov in the third, #10 Milos Raonic in the fourth, and #4 David Ferrer 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3 in the quarterfinals. The Raonic match also went 5 sets with 3 tiebreaks, and was 7-5 in the fifth.
Nadal has never lost to Gasquet in 10 previous match-ups. The two haven’t played since 2011, but Nadal has only dropped 4 total sets to Gasquet. Their only previous meeting at the U.S. Open was in the first round in 2009 when Nadal beat him in straight sets.
Like Djokovic and Wawrinka, it will be a surprise if Gasquet can even take a set off of Nadal. Gasquet has had a much tougher road to the semifinals, and two straight grueling five setters will take their toll.
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