First Semifinal- No.12 Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) vs. No. 2 Daniil Medvedev (RUS)
Many tennis pundits alike were projecting Daniil Medvedev to make the semi-finals pretty handily and that’s exactly what has happened thus far. The No. 2 seed has only dropped one set in route to the semifinals. To the contrary, his opponent, Felix Auger-Aliassime has had a more difficult road to making his first major semifinal appearance. The young Canadian has had two four setters, along with a thrilling five setter in the third round against Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut.
Felix doesn’t necessarily have a weapon to really hurt Medvedev, but he does everything solid. The Canadian will have to have a brilliant serving day, limiting the amount of second serves he has to hit as Medvedev is one of the best returners on the tour. Felix will try to play first-strike tennis as the longer rallies will most likely favor Medvedev.
As for Medvedev, he will also try to be aggressive. The backhand side for Felix is the weaker side so look for Medvedev to target that side in the rallies. Medvedev’s win percentage on returns points in the tournament is 48%, so look for the Russian to try and get an early break while his opponent will probably be nervous to start.
Prediction: Medvedev in 4 sets
Second Semifinal- No. 4 Alexander Zverev (GER) vs. No. 1 Novak Djokovic (SRB)
This is the blockbuster semifinal that was heavily predicted by most in the tennis world. Zverev defeated Djokovic in the Olympics in the semifinals just over a month ago. These are the two men who are playing the best hard-court tennis at the moment as well.
Zverev will continue to look for big serves against Novak who many consider to be perhaps the best returner in the history of tennis. The German will need to play an aggressive style of tennis and look to hurt Djokovic with his scintillating backhand. He will need to look the backhand to forehand pattern to have the best shot to win the match against the No. 1 seed.
For Djokovic, he is two match wins away from becoming only the second man in the Open Era to win all four majors in the same calendar year, as well as winning his 21st singles major which would be the most all-time for men’s tennis. Djokovic has improved his serve over the years and will need to try and serve his best against Zverev. He will try to get Zverev in the longer rallies moving him side to side, and may even try to come into the net a little to finish off points. This match could come down to just a few key points if Zverev continues to play the way he has in the last month, winning the gold in Tokyo and the title in Cincinnati.
Prediction: Djokovic in 5 sets