Saturday, September 06, 2008

US OPEN 2008: Men's Semifinals Preview

The 2008 US Open Men' s semifinals are now set. Mad Professah correctly predicted the results of three of the four quarterfinals in both the Men's and Women's draws. Here are my predictions for the semis.

Rafael Nadal ESP (1) vs. Andy Murray GBR (6). At Wimbledon the match-up between Nadal and Murray was much hyped and did not live up to the buzz, with Nadal winning their quarterfinal in straight sets. In fact, Nadal has never lost to the Scotsman in 5 matches on multiple surfaces. The current World No. 1 has beaten the soon-to-be World No. 4 three times this year. However, I feel that this will cause Murray to be extra motivated to at least make this match competitive--he has nothing to lose and could gain his first major final if he wins. However, Nadal is in the middle of one of the all-time great tennis years and has only lost one match (to Djokovic) since early May. The wild card is the New York weather, if the wind gets as bad as it was for yesterday's women's semis I think that Nadal will be able to handle the conditions better and will make it to his third consecutive major final. PREDICTION: Murray in 5 sets.

Novak Djokovic SRB (3) vs. Roger Federer SUI (2). This match is a replay of last year's US Open final, won by the Swiss former No. 1. Then, the Serbian youngster was the up and coming potential challenger to the Federer-Nadal duopoly at the top of men's tennis. Now he is the reigning Australian Open champion where he defeated the defending champion (Federer) in the semifinal. Will history repeat itself? I doubt it. Head-to-head Federer still leads Djokovic 6-2, although those two losses have come in the last 15 months. Federer has now made it to an incredible eighteen consecutive Grand Slam semifinals, a record unlikely to be reached by anyone else anytime soon. Federer is the 4-time defending champion but it is clear that he is not playing as well in 2008 as he did in 2007. He seems somewhat energized by his Olympic doubles Gold medal while Djokovic has had a series of tough matches to get to this point and has a history of succumbing to fatigue in big matches. PREDICTION: Federer in 4 sets.


Karen said...

you were right - Roger in 4. You could tell that Djoker wanted to call a medical time out but could not - poor Novak. He eventually threw the 4th set, or was it that he got his ass handed to him in the 4th set, either way my boy is in the finals again and a chance to make history. Go Roger.

Bookworm Girl said...

What?! Are you saying you think Murray will beat Nadal? Madness. It will be a Federer - Nadal face-off as usual. I do, however, look forward to Murray throwing a tantrum.

Karen said...

who do you think the rain delay helps - Murray or Nadal. I say it helps Nadal as it gives him a time to regroup and get his thoughts together, worse, he has a break so he will come out guns blazing. Does Murray have the strength to finish off Rafa in a five setter. Dont know, but it will be good to find out.

Mad Professah said...

are they really going to beable to finish the match today??$ I doubt it.

I still think that Murray will win the match, and maybe play the men's final at night on sunday?

rabbit said...

Allez Roger! I'm so happy right now :)

PeytonAllen said...

Well, I had to work so i missed both matches, though my wife gave me sporadic updates. Good to see Fed win. Djok needed a reality check after his bluntness got him in trouble.

Nadal down two sets? Man! Not surprising considering he's looked out of sorts at the Open. We all know he's STILL not as aggressive on a hard court as he is on grass, but at the Open yet again he just seems worn down.

Maybe mentally so this year more than physical, but who could fault that? Winning 3 majors in a year is hardly done.

That said, tomorrow will be interesting.

Murray has 17 aces and almost 50 winners? Clearly, he was in a zone, serving zone at least. I did see the 3rd set, and it looked like he was coming down to Earth.

Who does it benefit more? Who's to say. I mean, Nadal gets to regroup and be told what he was doing wrong, but Murray gets a time out and doesn't have to fight lady Mo turning against him.

I don't see Murray winning in 5. If Nadal holds tomorrow, Andy has to get it done in the 4th. He's played more tennis, and mentally he'd be fighting himself and the crowd and a pumped Rafa in the 5th.

But really it comes down to which version of each player comes out. Can Andy find the same groove? That hurts him.

But Rafa hasn't been hitting on all corners yet. For the entire tournament. Does the 24 hour gap give him a chance to conjure some magic? Or is he simply too pooped after a major summer run.

Wonder why the final is Monday at 5. They're missing prime time ratings on both coasts. Their Monday night programming is still in reruns, I think... so clearly
its a grab at missing MNF.

I think that's a mistake. A Monday night final at 7:30 or 8 would give the Open and CBS a chance to see if they could stumble on to something magical.

You would think CBS would want a Monday final because at the very least it'd give them the chance to air a doubleheader on week 1 of the NFL season.

Anyway..Nadal probably has too big of a hole to climb out of, but he lost the 2nd in a tiebreaker, so the gap between them is nill.