US Open 2012 Men's Semifinals: Complete Guide to Novak Djokovic vs. David Ferrer

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 8, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 06:  Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns a shot during his men's singles quarterfinal match against Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina on Day Eleven of the 2012 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 6, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

The 2012 U.S. Open is down to only four competitors and any of the men remaining could take home the trophy.

With Roger Federer out of the tournament, the field is wide open. The Swiss legend lost to Tomas Berdych, who now must face Andy Murray to continue his surprising run.

On the other side of the bracket, Novak Djokovic faces David Ferrer for a chance to reach the finals. Djokovic is the highest remaining seed, but nothing is guaranteed in this tournament. Although it will be hard to top some earlier matches in the tournament, this battle should be an exciting one to watch.


Where: Flushing Meadows, N.Y.

When: September 8, 11 a.m. ET

Watch: CBS


Keys to Victory for Novak Djokovic

Over the past couple of months, Djokovic struggled to beat Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Fortunately, neither one of them are in these semifinals. This should help the Serbian's confidence as he tries to win his second Grand Slam of the year.

He already had to feel good going into a tournament with a hard court. He not only owns an 80.2 winning percentage on this surface, but he has won the last three slams with a hard court. It fits his style perfectly and he should be favored for the rest of the tournament.

Against David Ferrer, he must continue to return serves as well as he has. Ferrer has won 86 percent of his service games in 2012, so he must play to his strength and beat his opponent at his own game. When the Spanish native misses his first serve, Djokovic must respond on the second as he has so often in 2012.

If he plays his game, there is no one that can beat him in the next two matches.


Keys to Victory for David Ferrer

Ferrer has a respectable 5-8 career record against Djokovic, although three of those wins were on clay. The last time they faced each other in the U.S. Open was in 2007 when Novak won in straight sets.

However, the No. 5 player in the world is not completely overmatched. He can come out on top if he uses his serve successfully and controls the net.

The key will be to do his damage on the first serve. He averages putting 65 percent of his first serves in play. That number needs to be up in the 70s in the semifinals with him winning 75-80 percent of those serves. Djokovic is second only to Rafael Nadal in returning a second serve, so Ferrer must not even give him an option.

In addition, he must break better than he has throughout the tournament. He was inconsistent in this aspect against Janko Tipsarevic in the quarterfinals, but he has the talent to get it done.



David Ferrer is capable of pulling the upset if everything goes well, but things have been coming too easy for Novak Djokovic in the tournament for him to lose. The returning champion has not lost a set in the U.S. Open and does not look like he will start now.

Djokovic will win in straight sets.