US Open Picks 09/06: Three & Through For Nadal

Here's our picks for Friday's US Open action
Graham Ruthven
Thu, September 5, 1:28 PM

This may now look like Rafael Nadal’s tournament to win, with Novak Djokovic ands Roger Federer falling by the wayside, but the Spaniard still has to win two more games to get his hands on the US Open trophy. Matteo Berrettini, Grigor Dimitrov and Daniil Medvedev will also have hopes of going all the way. Here are four picks for the men’s singles semi finals.

Matteo Berrettini v Rafael Nadal

US Open men’s singles semi final, Friday September 6

There can be no denying that Rafael Nadal is now the clear favourite to go all the way at this year’s US Open after his two closest rivals dropped out before they could face the Spaniard. Nadal has lost three times at the semi final stage of the US Open (two to Juan Martin Del Potro and one to Andy Murray), but it’s difficult to envisage him losing this one.

Matteo Berrettini has been the surprise package of this year’s US Open. There had been signs that the Italian was building up nicely, winning two ATP tour titles and then losing to Roger Federer in the round of 16 at Wimbledon, but nobody expected the 23-year-old to make it this far at the final Slam of the season.

There was a real gulf in class between Nadal and Diego Schwartzman in the quarter finals, with fatigue a potential factor in the performance of the Argentine. That could also be an issue for Berrettini, with the Italian forced to five sets to see off Gael Monfils in the quarter finals. How will he recover?

Berrettini has spent nearly a full six hours more on court than Nadal at this year’s US Open. If the Italian is to pull off the win of his career then he must find the serving form which has seen him register 66 aces on his way to the semi finals. Otherwise, Nadal should win this one rather comfortably.

1u - Back Rafael Nadal 3-0 @ -162

0.5 - Back Rafael Nadal Games Handicap -8.5 @ +110

Daniil Medvedev v Grigor Dimitrov

US Open men’s singles semi final, Friday September 6

Had the draw gone to seeding, this would have been a semi final clash between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. However, this year’s US Open has been defined by its unpredictability and so what we have instead is a final four clash between two players hoping to make their first ever Grand Slam final.

Daniil Medvedev arrived at Flushing Meadows as the player to watch having reached back-to-back Masters finals, beating Djokovic in the final of Cincinnati, and the Russian has lived up to that billing, already ensuring that he will rise to fourth in the ATP rankings when they are revised next week.

However, Medvedev seems to be struggling physically, requiring a medical time out to get past Stan Wawrinka in the quarter finals. The 23-year-old, however, is one of the smartest players on the tour and still managed to find a way past Wawrinka and one suspects he will need a similar level of variety to unsettle Grigor Dimitrov.

These was a sense of fulfilment to Dimitrov’s quarter final win over Roger Federer. For years, the Bulgarian had been compared to the great man and for years he had failed to live up to that expectation. He exorcised some of his ghosts by beating Federer in five sets. However, Dimitrov has a 50-50 record against Medvedev. The fact he has spent over two hours less on court than the Russian could be a factor.

1.5u - Back Daniil Medvedev To Win @ -175

0.5u - Back Daniil Medvedev 3-1 @ +330

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