Although Australia’s newest tennis hero John Millman suffered defeat at the US Open last round, there’s still plenty to get excited about at Flushing Meadows. Here we run the eye over the Men’s Semi Finals and find out if Juan Martin Del Potro or Kei Nishikori can upset their respective opponents in Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic respectively.
On the back of a spectacular 2018, Rafael Nadal entered this year’s US Open as the #1 seed with plenty backing him to take out his second grand slam of the calendar year. However, his tennis over this campaign suggests he might find himself in a struggle to progress against 3rd seed Juan Martin del Potro. Across Nadal’s past three matches, he has only managed to win two of his 13 sets by more than three games, whilst he was uncharacteristically bagelled in the first set of his quarter final by Dominic Theim. Furthermore, the Spaniard’s record against his Argentinian rival on hard court is a little shaky with the latter winning five of their ten matches on the surface, including two of the past three. Are we in for an upset then? It’s always hard to back against a 17-time Grand Slam winner, but one thing that appears likely is this encounter has all the hallmarks of a classic.
Tip: All five sets to be required.
Despite playing four-setters in each of his opening two matches of the tournament, Novak Djokovic has found his groove, winning each of his past three matches in straight sets. Sending Aussie John Millman out last round with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 triumph, this year’s Wimbledon champion will start outright favourite against Kei Nishikori who enters the game on the back of a five set epic against Marin Cilic. Although the Michael Chang coached Nishikori shouldn’t be overlooked entirely in this, his record against the all-conquering Serb reads 2-14 with his rival winning each of the past 10. Still, the Japanese right-hander will draw solace from the fact that his last victory against the Djoker took place in pretty similar circumstances to this four years ago, when he won through to the 2014 US Open Final in four sets (6-4, 1-6, 7-6, 6-3).
Tip: Nishikori to win a set.