Rafael Nadal Joined by Three Underdogs in Rogers Cup Semi-Finals

Brandon McCallumCorrespondent IJuly 25, 2008

We are down to the semi-finals in the Rogers Cup this weekend with a favorite and three unlikely candidates.

Second seed Rafael Nadal is an enormous favorite for this weekend and the other three competitors are Gilles Simon, who is 22nd-ranked; Nicolas Kiefer, who is 37th-ranked; and the eighth seed, Andy Murray.

Federer is not in his usual position going into the semi-final round. He was knocked out on the third day by Gilles Simon. The match went into the third set, and Federer hit it long on match point to put the Frenchman into the next round.

I wouldn't call it an off-day for Federer. Simon had an amazing game and deserved to win the match.

Marian Cilic played Simon in the quarterfinals, and Simon played a strong game to advance himself into the semi-finals against Kiefer.

Andy Roddick, another favorite, went down against Marian Cilic, who eventually lost to Simon.

Rafael Nadal had a routine week, winning his first match against Jesse Levine by painting the lines and strong serving. Nadal then beat Igor Andreev in the round of 16.

Nadal went on to beat 10th-seed Richard Gasquet in the quarters. Nadal now plays Andy Murray in the semi-finals.

Nicolas Kiefer has been a great surprise this tournament, knocking off the 15th seed, Mikhail Youzhny; the fourth seed, Nicolay Davydenko; and the seventh seed, James Blake.

Andy Murray did not have any nail-biter matches until he played third seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic in the quarters. Djokovic had many unforced errors, and Murray played a quick and smart game to put himself into the semis.

I predict we will be seeing Gilles Simon against Rafael Nadal in the final with Nadal prevailing as the champion and taking the first seed away from Roger Federer. Nadal has beaten Roger in their last two battles.