We’ve arrived at the Semifinal stage of the US Open with the men taking center stage on Friday night in Queens. Daniil Medvedev will have the opportunity to get back to the US Open final for the second time in three years when he faces young Felix Auger-Aliassime, while Novak Djokovic will attempt to move just a win away from a calendar Grand Slam. So, where does the value lie in these matches? We’ll tell you where to look at the top-rated sportsbooks.
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs. Daniil Medvedev
Friday, September 10, 2021 – 03:00 PM EDT at Arthur Ashe Stadium
In a rematch of their second-round encounter in Toronto three years ago, Felix Auger-Aliassime will challenge World No. 2, Daniil Medvedev, for a spot in the US Open final. The 21-year-old has one of the most exciting games on tour, brimming with talent, but the Russian is four years his elder and will enter this one with plenty more experience.
After a couple of shaky matches against weak competition, Auger-Aliassime has had an impressive run to the semis with quality wins over Roberto Bautista-Agut and Frances Tiafoe. He came through those wins in commanding fashion, bombing aces and controlling his powerful groundstrokes. He then took that game into a match with Carlos Alcaraz where he did more of the same, dictating points and beating down the young Spaniard from the baseline before he retired in the second set.
It’s been business as usual for Medvedev, who has been beating down opponents on the way here, failing to drop a set until the quarterfinals, when he took out Botic Van De Zandschulp 3-1. He was dominant throughout but seemed to lose focus in the fourth set and perhaps take his opponent too lightly. While it’s somewhat scary to believe in Medvedev to come through this one unscathed after dropping a set to Van De Zandschulp, that’s exactly where I land here. Auger-Aliassime plays a very simple brand of tennis — see ball, smack ball.
Medvedev’s years of experience and brilliant tennis mind should be able to frustrate the young Canadian. His consistency from the baseline should also force the ever-volatile Auger-Aliassime into a bunch of errors, and his deep returning position should make it tough for the Canadian to get free points off of his serve, as he has been doing all tournament.
Novak Djokovic vs. Alexander Zverev
Friday, September 10, 2021 - 07:00 PM EDT at Arthur Ashe Stadium
In our second match, we have perhaps the greatest men’s singles star of all time going against one of the most promising young upstarts in Alexander Zverev. The tall, big-serving German has taken out the Serb in four of their 11 career meetings but had lost five straight until defeating Djokovic in the Olympics last month.
Zverev has the sheer power to pose problems for Djokovic. He can nail giant deep backhands down the line. He can serve both his way to easy holds and put pressure on the Djokovic service game. Above all else, he can send Djokovic scrambling all over the court. That’s not something Djokovic hasn’t dealt with before in this tournament, though.
In fact, his last match against Matteo Berrettini should have him very prepared for the battle with Zverev. While Berrettini’s backhand is a poor shot, his forehand is the biggest in the game, and his serve is very comparable to Zverev’s if it isn’t better. Djokovic struggled in the first set against Berrettini before settling into the match and winning the next three, but I’d chalk that up to Djokovic playing the slow-hitting Jenson Brooksby in the previous round.
He should be more than ready for the power coming his way across the net. Djokovic’s level at the end of the Berrettini match was something to behold, and quite frankly his play in the final three sets against Brooksby was similar. After taking a body blow, he went absolutely insane on the court, making brilliant reads and using his legendary defense to turn points on their head.
Like Medvedev, he is the smarter of the two players here, and having played Zverev 11 times it’s safe to say he’s got a very good read on how he wants to construct points. It’s not exactly hard to figure out, but the experience will work for him. I’m willing to chalk the Olympics loss up to a lapse in focus after leading the match by a break and think this will be a much different story. Djokovic beat Zverev handily at the Australian Open earlier this year and should do it again, three sets to one or better.
Tennis Pick: Djokovic 5.5 Sets (+100) with BetOnline
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