US Open Men's Semifinal 2013: Complete Preview and Predictions
Saturday will be a busy day at the U.S. Open as the men take to the court for two semifinal matches that will determine who makes it to the final in Flushing.
On one side of the draw, No. 1 Novak Djokovic will take on upset-specialist No. 9 Stanislas Wawrinka. In the later match of the day, No. 2 Rafael Nadal is looking to avoid an upset himself when he takes on No. 8 Richard Gasquet.
The world is anticipating another epic Nadal-Djokovic showdown. Will we see the dream matchup this year or will one of the underdogs shock the world?
Let's take a look at each match.
For a look at each semifinal participant's draw, check out the U.S. Open's official site.
T.V. Schedule for Day 13 (Courtesy of U.S. Open's official site)
|7 a.m.-11 a.m.||US Open Daily Match Encores||Tennis Channel|
|Noon-6 p.m.||Men's Singles Semifinals/Women's Doubles Final||CBS|
|6 p.m.-8 p.m.||US Open Daily Match Encores||Tennis Channel|
|9:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m.||US Open Daily Match Encores||Tennis Channel|
Novak Djokovic vs. Stanislas Wawrinka
How They Got Here
The road to the semifinals for Djokovic has been a far easier one than Wawrinka's.
The former has dominated his way to the semifinals after beating all of his opponents in straight sets leading into the quarterfinals. It was there that he dropped his first set of the tourney to Mikhail Youzhny, but the Serb was able to recover nicely in the fourth set to shut Youzhny out.
Wawrinka has surprised many on his way to this point. In the round of 16, he started his upset run with a victory in four sets over No. 5 Tomas Berdych and followed that up with an even more surprising victory over No. 3 Andy Murray in straight sets.
Djokovic has completely outmatched Wawrinka in the pair's history—he has a 14-2 advantage. The Serb has won the last 11 meetings and has only surrendered one loss in total on a hard court to the Swiss star, which came all the way back in 2006.
It's safe to say Wawrinka has an uphill battle ahead of him.
Djokovic will be heavily favored in this matchup and that's understandable when looking at the history between he and Wawrinka. However, it must be said that Wawrinka is playing some great tennis right now and it has been against some top-flight competition.
While Wawrinka will likely give Djokovic his toughest match yet, it will take quite a bit to unseat the No. 1 seed in this tourney. Expect this one to go five sets as Wawrinka will be Djokovic's toughest challenge yet, but Djoker will make his way to yet another U.S. Open final.
Final Score: Djokovic def. Wawrinka 6-7, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
Rafael Nadal vs. Richard Gasquet
How They Got Here
Nadal has mostly cruised to his spot in the semifinal. He won all but one of his matches in straight sets.
His first test came against German Philipp Kohlschreiber who took Nadal to four sets. After dropping the first, Nadal came storming back to take the last three sets and advanced to take on Tommy Robredo in the semis, who didn't present much of a challenge for him.
Gasquet advanced without incident through his first three matches of the tourney, but things started to get tougher after that. No. 10 Milos Raonic and No. 4 David Ferrer both took Gasquet to the brink with five-set matches, however Gasquet was able to finish strong and go through to the semifinals.
The No. 2 seed has had the upper hand against the No. 8 seed in their history. Nadal has a 10-1 edge over Gasquet, and the Frenchman has not won a single match against the Spaniard since their first meeting back in 2003.
Things are very different nowadays and Nadal is a far better player than he was then, so that victory on a hard surface for Gasquet means next to nothing.
This match won't be as close as the other semifinals matchup.
Nadal has been firing on all cylinders in this tourney and his match with Robredo proved there would be nothing close to a letdown. Gasquet has not looked too impressive against some of his tough opponents and that's a major point of concern for the Frenchman.
With Nadal at the top of his game and seemingly unbeatable on hard courts this year, it looks as though the No. 2 seed will have his way with his counterpart and will take this match in straight sets.
Get ready for another Nadal-Djokovic final, barring Nadal beating himself on Saturday—which isn't likely to happen.
Final Score: Nadal def. Gasquet 6-4, 6-2, 6-3
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