Wimbledon 2010 Men's Semifinals: Preview and Prediction

Sriram IlangoCorrespondent IJune 30, 2010

After a gap of seven years, the name Roger Federer will not be on the semifinal line up of Wimbledon. Other than the man who beat him, the other three semifinalists are sort of given.

Rafael Nadal, with his impressive form, is looking formidable. Novak Djokovic is making his second semifinal appearance at the All England Club after 2007, and the British Hope Andy Murray is making his second consecutive semifinal appearance.

The case of Tomáš Berdych is rather different from these three. His best performance at Wimbledon before this was a mediocre quarterfinal appearance in 2007.

He hasn't made it past the fourth round of any Grand Slam except two occasions, and he isn't rated highly in the ATP tour.

Putting this all aside, the fact that he beat the man who is perhaps the best player to have ever swung the racket gives him an edge. There are not many days where a player against the odds defeats Roger Federer at a Grand Slam.

Let's get to the predictions and previews now.

First Semifinal: Tomáš Berdych vs Novak Djokovic

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Nobody can be happier about the fact that Roger Federer is out of semifinal than Novak Djokovic.

The Serbian's record against Federer isn't that impressive. Yes, he did defeat Federer en route to his only Grand Slam title, the 2008 Australian Open. But other than that they have met four times at the Majors, and the Swiss has got the better of him each time.

Djokovic is one of the six players to have won a Grand Slam after Federer won his first Major in 2003. He is rather under-appreciated at times, and he proves his critics right by losing pathetically.

Berdych has never defeated Djokovic in the past, having a 0-2 head-to-head record against him.

If he can get the better of Berdych, it will be his first ever Wimbledon final, and who knows what that motivation can do to him?

Berdych on the other hand will be playing a jackpot. He literally has nothing to lose, but he does have something to prove.

To be fair, his ousting of Federer had more to do with Federer's inconsistency than his very own ability. He did push Federer to the edge, but the Swiss made 18 unforced errors and hit only 42 winners in the whole match.

If Berdych wants to prove the critics that his win wasn't just a fluke, he needs to win against Djokovic. If he does that, he will enter his first ever Grand Slam finals where he will meet the winner of Murray-Nadal game.

Prediction: Novak Djokovic def Tomáš Berdych 6-4 7-5 7-6.

Second Semifinal: Andy Murray vs Rafael Nadal

This is one heck of a match, ain't it?

No British player has won at the Wimbledon singles after Virginia Wade did it in 1977.

Tim Henman got close four times, but was defeated on all four occasions on this very stage.

Murray himself got here last year but was defeated by Andy Roddick. Semifinalist might be the curse for British players, and the fact that Murray's opponent is Rafael Nadal makes the curse worse.

Nadal had to retire from the 2010 Australian Open quarterfinals while playing against Murray.

Nadal had a bad knee then, and he was trailing two sets to nil at that time. Incidentally it is the knee which is bothering Nadal now.

He had to call in his physio four times to win his second round match against Robin Hasse. However, he has been good since then, and it looks as if he is on the way to retain his Wimbledon crown which he never lost.

Nadal has a clear 7-3 lead in his matches against Murray, but then there are not many players who have a better head-to-head record against Nadal.

But the intriguing factor here is that Murray has won his last two matches against Nadal in majors—the 2008 U.S. Open and the 2010 Australian Open.

Both Nadal and Murray would have an upper hand against either Djokovic or Berdych. So this could well be the championship match, and it doesn't look easy.

Nadal struggled with fitness in his opening games and has regained it now. Murray hardly broke sweat en route to the semifinals. With both the players on top of their game, this match should be a treat for all tennis fans.

Prediction: Rafael Nadal def Andy Murray 5-7 6-4 6-4 7-6

Will we see a new British Champion? Will Rafael Nadal retain his crown? Can Djokovic get out of being titled as the "one-slam wonder" or will Berdych defy the odds?

Only time can answer.

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