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So after Rafa Nadal succumbed to the power and guile of Novak Djokovic in Wednesdays’ quarter final we are guaranteed a new name on the trophy for 2015 – but which of the 4 remaining players will it be?
The heavily talent loaded top half of this years draw has ended up with the top 2 ranked players meeting in Fridays semi final.
World number 1 Novak Djokovic (1/6) meets third seeded Brit in the form of Andy Murray (17/4). After his straight sets demolition of multiple champion Nadal in the previous round it’s tough to see past Djokovic in this encounter. Not only did he beat Nadal in straight sets, he is yet to drop a set in this years tournament, that’s 15 straight winning sets, and he is yet to be taken to even a tie break. So the obvious play here is a 3-0 win for Djokovic (11/10), but is there anything within the history between these 2 players to contradict this play?
Well the H2H reads 18-8 in favour of Djokovic, and indeed he has won their only 2 meeting on the red clay. Add to this the fact the Djokovic has won every meeting between the pair since the start of 2014, that’s 7 matches in total, I can’t find many reasons to oppose the 3-0 scoreline.
One other way to get with Djokovic is to play the game handicap line which William Hill quote at -6.5 games at 5/6, a straight sets victory somewhere in the region of 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 gets us over the line here, add to this the fact that in the past Murray has had a tendency to fall away once the match seems to have gone this looks a solid play here.
The other semi final sees 8th seeded Swiss Stan Wawrinka (4/9) play the only remaining Frenchman 14th seeded Jo Wilfried Tsonga (9/5), this looks a much tighter match on paper. H2H here read 3-3 over the years with Wawrinka holding a slender 3-2 lead on the clay.
Tsonga had a tough quarter final winning in 5 sets against Kei Nishikori after letting 2-0 lead slip, given that Tsonga has had very little tennis this year there must be a slight concern that the fatigue will play a part here.
Wawrinka on the other hand has cruised through the draw dropping only a single set along the way, that in his second round match, and he seemingly cruised past his compatriot Roger Federer in the quarter final.
Everything here points to a Wawrinka victory, Tsonga may well pinch a set with the 3 sets to 1 victory priced at 3-1, and this looks the play here.