The U.S. Open semifinals are finally here and we are three matches away from crowning a new Grand Slam champion. The final four men left are all worthy challengers, but the best semifinal features Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer.
The two men enter this tournament with plenty at stake. Djokovic is the defending champion and is trying to extend his major winning streak on hard courts to four in a row.
As for Ferrer, he is still looking for his first career Grand Slam title and would love to start at the 2012 U.S. Open. He has been successful at this tournament before, finishing in the semifinal round in 2007.
However, that is as far as he has ever advanced in a major tournament. Ferrer is advancing in age, but he appears to be improving as the years pass. 2012 has been a career year for the Spaniard, as he has advanced to either the quarterfinals or semifinals of every Grand Slam championship this year.
Ferrer is ready to finally move forward and reach the finals. Standing in his way is perhaps the best player in tennis.
Novak Djokovic had one of the best years ever in 2011 and won three of the year's four major trophies. In fact, his success extends beyond 2011 and culminates a three-year span of dominating the tennis world.
"Djoker," as he is affectionately known as by his fans, has advanced to the semifinals or better in the past 10 consecutive Grand Slam events, which is an absolutely unbelievable achievement. Yet at this point in his career, he is not content with merely reaching the semifinals. He is in New York to win and to continue his quest to leapfrog Roger Federer as the world's top-ranked player.
In the meantime, a difficult match lies ahead for Novak as Ferrer has never played better tennis his life. The two players should provide for an interesting mix of play styles and physical attributes.
Djokovic is clearly the superior athlete, as he stands 6'2" tall and is one of the most active runners and defenders in tennis. Ferrer is on the short end of the stick and is only 5'9" tall but makes up for it with excellent quickness as he covers a lot of ground on the court.
Novak is entering the prime years of his career, while Ferrer is playing in his 12th year as a professional. Despite his age, Ferrer has contended for every major title in 2012 and would have a great shot to win if he defeats Djokovic.
This match should be a long and hotly contested one, meaning that the player with the best level of stamina and fitness will hold a key advantage over his opponent. Whoever does that will likely advance to the final on Sunday.
Regardless of who it will be, both players are at the top of their respective careers and should give tennis fans a great spectacle to see as we near the end of a fabulous 2012 United States Open.