We are into the business end of the US Open and just two days away from witnessing the 2015 US Open champion. Novak Djokovic, Marin Cilic, Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka are the four players who have sealed their spot in the semi-finals after having an excellent run at the event so far.
Novak Djokovic after having his struggles in the quarterfinal against the big serving Feliciano Lopez came out on top in four sets while Cilic had to grind all the way till five sets against the Frenchman Jo- Wilfried Tsonga to emerge victoriously. The Swiss duo had an easy path to the semi-finals by registering straight set victories over their respective opponents. While Roger Federer outclassed Richard Gasquet in three sets, Wawrinka decimated the South African Kevin Anderson in straight sets including a bagel in the third.
What one should except in the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows?
Semi-final 1: Novak Djokovic vs Marin Cilic
Head to Head: Djokovic 13-Cilic 0
Last five meetings: Djokovic 5- Cilic 0
Marin Cilic in his 13 meetings against the Serb hasn’t established a single win which will play a psychological advantage on Djokovic’s side. While Cilic has reaped success against some of the top seeds he failed to get the better of the Serb in the past years. Cilic, after missing out competitive tennis for 10 months due to injury since his US Open glory last year has returned to his best again this year at Flushing Meadows which is absolutely remarkable. The US Open hard courts seem to be Cilic’s cup of tea as he is playing his best tennis here for the past two years.
The Croat has a monumental task ahead of him as he should go past the in-form Djokovic to further defend his US Open crown. In the previous meeting, Djokovic registered a comfortable straight set victory over Cilic in the Quarterfinal of Wimbledon 2015. To upset Djokovic, the Croat has to be on the top of his game and remain strong mentally throughout the course of the match. Cilic must serve well and remain aggressive right from the start of the match and dictate play with his powerful groundstrokes in order to have any chance to defeat the World no.1. On the contrary, Djokovic doesn’t need anything to do out of the box as his present form is more than enough to take down Cilic and seal a spot in the Finals. However, the Serb can’t underestimate the Croat as Cilic plays his best Tennis, especially in the US Open hard courts.
Prediction: Djokovic to win in five set
Semi-final 2: Roger Federer vs Stanislas Wawrinka
Head to Head: Federer 16- Wawrinka 3
Last five meetings: Federer 3- Wawrinka 2
One can expect a high-octane clash between these two Swiss giants as Wawrinka has found his form and peaking at the right time of the tournament. Wawrinka has clearly sent a message to his fellow countrymen with his dominating victory over Anderson. Alarm bells are ringing for Roger Federer and the 5 time US Open champion has to be at his best to overcome Wawrinka.
Wawrinka has troubled Federer in his least favourite clay surface while Federer has been dominant over Wawrinka in all other surfaces. Wawrinka’s three victories over Roger Federer came in clay and he found success this year as well defeating Federer in the Roland Garros quarterfinal in straight sets. However, Wawrinka didn’t achieve major success in the build-up hard court tournaments before US Open whereas Federer reigned in Cincinnati winning his 7th title at the event.
In order to beat Federer, the key elements for Wawrinka would be his serve and his single-handed backhand. Though Wawrinka’s forehand is lethal his backhand will be his major weapon and could possess a serious threat to Federer. In his previous encounter against Federer, Wawrinka didn’t allow him to settle down and dominated right from the beginning being aggressive and taking his chances. That should be his game plan once again if he needs to get the better of his countrymen. Federer, on the other hand, has been in sublime form throughout the tournament without dropping a single set and mauling every single opponent. However, he can expect some competition from Wawrinka in the semi-finals. Federer’s game evolves around serve and volley and he is not used to playing long rallies. Serving well and finishing the points early with odd risks would be his game plan. However, Federer will have the edge over Wawrinka and will go in as the firm favourite for the semi-finals with the form he is in but Wawrinka might spring a surprise.
Prediction: Roger Federer to win in four sets