Day 12: Men’s Semi Final
Rafael Nadal v Grigor Dimitrov (7:30pm)
Last night we went a step closer to a fairy tale final with Federer beating compatriot Stan Wawrinka in 5 thrilling sets. Tonight it is Nadal’s turn to hold up his end of the bargain and create what would be a historic final. The man standing in the way is Grigor Dimitrov, a man looking to create his own piece of history by making his maiden slam final. Both men have played fantastic tennis to get here but it remains to be seen if Dimitrov can elevate his game to the next level when it counts…
Nadal leads the H2H 7-1 but it is Dimitrov who won the most recent meeting in Beijing late last year, on a similarly fast court. The speed of the court will be critical to the outcome in this one and the Bulgarian will want them to be as fast as possible. We have seen Dimitrov play an aggressive brand of tennis so far in 2017 and he has been able to build on his title winning run in Brisbane. The key for Dimitrov lies in his ability to get into the net. So far this tournament he is 101/140, winning over 72% of points at the net. That is a huge number and he can only beat Nadal if he puts up similar numbers tonight.
If Dimitrov gets stuck on the baseline he is a sitting duck for Rafa who will work him over point by point and run him into the ground. Oh, and one other thing… The Wolf says that Dimitrov better to be ready to go 5 sets because Rafa ain’t rolling over. The clash of styles with make this a very enthralling battle but it is hard to look past the raging bull. Dimitrov has come up short in critical stages in the past and The Wolf just cannot see him play well enough for long enough to win three sets.
Nadal’s quarter final against Raonic was vintage Rafa. He had no reason to win the second set and after Raonic failed to convert close to half a dozen set points Nadal pounced on his first. From that point on it was curtains. Winning the first set will be critical for Dimitrov as it will get Nadal out of his comfort zone. If Nadal wins the opening set this one will be done in straight. We will get the dream final we all want to see!
Best Bet: Under 38.5 ($1.80)
Value Bet: Sets Nadal 3-0 ($3.00)
1st Set Scorecast: 3rd Set Scorecast Nadal 6-2 ($10)